Purim Unity Parade: Happiness Despite War

Purim Unity Parade: Happiness Despite War
Purim Unity Parade

The Purim Unity Parade’s carnival featured 30 original projects and was held in Jerusalem for the first time in 42 years.

By Amelie Botbol, JNS

The Purim Unity Parade kicked off on Monday morning in Jerusalem for the first time in 42 years, led by families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and featuring a giant yellow ribbon, representing the call for their safe return.

Also included were a procession of original displays designed by Jerusalem cultural institutions, local children and children of evacuees promoting national unity and resilience.

The parade, formerly known as “Adloyada,” was renamed following a meeting on Thursday between Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion and representatives of the hostages’ families.

The Purim Unity Parade outside Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, March 25, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

“After 42 years without the Purim Unity Parade in the capital, it returns this year to honor the heroes of Israel past and present,” said Lion.

The parade “celebrates the Israeli victorious spirit. Jerusalem opens its gates and hosts everyone with love and joy, hoping for a promising future and the unity of the people,” he added.

The procession included the families of captives Lior Rudaeff, Romi Gonen, Carmel Gat, Omer Shem-Tov, Ofer Kalderon, Tal Shoham, Uriel Baruch and Itzik Elgarat.

“We thank the city of Jerusalem and Mayor Moshe Lion for their willingness and sensitivity in adapting the Purim events to the spirit of these times,” the families said, according to a press release by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

“We see the capital as a beacon guiding the entire nation on the vital mission to return all its sons and daughters home, rehabilitate the living and bury the dead. There is no greater mitzvah than redeeming captives,” they added.

The Purim Unity Parade in Jerusalem, March 25, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Internally displaced communities from Israel’s north and south and families of Israel Defense Forces reservists marched alongside displays created by artists from towns in the Gaza Envelope.

The Unity Parade’s carnival featured 30 original projects including a roaring lion blowing soap bubbles, created by an artist evacuated from Israel’s north; a giant mechanical spider dancing through the streets; an Anime band with giant puppets and a cloud machine with colors floating out of the head of renowned scientist Albert Einstein.

The parade began on King David Street, continued to Zion Square through Shlomo HaMelech Street, Jaffa Street and King George Street, and was set to conclude early afternoon at the “Old Mashbir” Square.

Seven entertainment stages were set up along the route, at the YMCA courtyard, Mamilla Junction, Tzahal Square, Safra Square, Beit Yoel, Zion Square and Old Mashbir Square, with performances including a 40-member wind instrument orchestra, the Big Band group, DJs, Shaman Shaman and Tzilei Ha’od.

Following the march, the traditional Purim party was slated be held at Nissim Bachar Square.

The Purim Unity Parade is part of dozens of events, celebrations, and parties in the city in honor of the Purim holiday.

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