Ultra-Orthodox Purim (2015)

The festival of Purim celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish people from destruction in the ancient kingdom of Persia. Traditionally, adults and children dress in costumes, recite the Purim story, and eat poppy seed-filled sweets. People do what they don't ordinarily do: while adults drink in excess, certain Hassidic communities allow their children to smoke cigarettes. In the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, all these customs are adhered to with a religious ferver.