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London kids in their Purim costumes




Hanania’s book, Happy Purim, has been published by Shelter Press.

Did you ever wish you could just stare at kids in Purim costumes without looking away? Well, thanks to French photographer Estelle Hanania, now you can.

Estelle2In her gorgeous photography book Happy Purim she selects her favourite shots from all the Purims she spent wandering the ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Stamford Hill in North London, photographing the homemade costumes kids wear.

RIGHT: Lille and littler Orphan Annies

Hanania’s photos include kids dressed as everything from a Torah to a clown to some Raggedy Anns and even a pepperoni pizza (presumably a kosher one?) pizza mask with no eyeholes.

Johannesburg’s North Eastern suburbs looked similarly dazzling last week, as, presumably, did other parts of South Africa such as Sea Point and Umhlanga Rocks.

So, while Jewish Report Online is publishing some of Estelle Hanania’s favourite quirky and gorgeous pictures of London kids, how about some SA pictures too?

Simply send to: and use the subject line “PURIM PICS”.

Estelle1Please include at least 100 words with each picture giving us the child or children’s name(s), what school they attend, their age, what school they attend and a few of their favourite things. Oh, and remember to get the permission of their parents. Dressed-up adults, families and parties are welcome to send theirs too.

Here’s our chance, South Africa, as 35 per cent of people who log on to this website are doing it from outside South Africa, let’s show them that we have the Purim spirit too.

Back to the streets of London

 Hanania has lots of twins in her book – decked out in top hats and tails, or equestrian attire, or matching dresses and bonnets.


RIGHT: Estelle Hanania even finds some head-scratching legs-for-heads like this one


All the subjects are posed against nondescript brick walls and fences, juxtaposing the kids’ fantasies with the banality of their surroundings.

Hanania has shot for various magazines and fashion designers, but her fine art photography focuses on the physical body and masks, costumes and fetishes as signifiers of identity.

Many of the kids in “Happy Purim” dress like older versions of themselves: a rabbi with a long robe and shtreimel (fur hat).


LEFT: This young London lass, who made the cut for Hanania’s book, is dressed like an elderly woman with a silver wig, shawl and cane.

Some of these kids and their parents, no doubt, sure take Purim dress-up seriously!


Hanania points out that the Hebrew word for costume – “tachposhet” – literally means “to search for oneself”. 

These kids are dressing up for Purim, but Hanania shows us there’s something deeper going on.






Reprinted from Jewniverse with kind permission of Estelle Hanania. And remember let’s see some home-grown tachposhets.

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