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Song, dance, costumes and wine at the Jewish festival of Purim

Oded Balilty / AP

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish girl dressed as a bride for the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, Israel, on March. 8, 2012. The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Scroll of Esther.

Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

A boy looks out of a window as Ultra Orthodox Jews celebrate Purim on March 8, 2012 in Bnei Brak.

Bernat Armangue / AP

A child dressed in a clown costume at a synagogue in Jerusalem on March 8, 2012.

Abir Sultan / EPA

Men dance and sing at the Matmidim Hasidic dynasty synagogue in Jerusalem on March 8, 2012.

Baz Ratner / Reuters

A man hands out a bottle of wine during celebrations at the Belz Hasidic dynasty synagogue in Jerusalem on March 8, 2012.

Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

Ultra-Orthodox Jews belonging to the Tholdot Avraham Yitzhak Hasidic group rest late on March 8, 2012 in Beit Shemesh, a religious town near Jerusalem.

The fun that goes along with the celebration of Purim can't be overstated, The Associated Press reports.

The tale behind the festival — which was celebrated between sunset on Wednesday and nightfall on Thursday — involves a Persian king, his prime minister, Haman (the bad guy) who had it out for the Jews, and a community leader named Mordecai. Basically, Mordecai and his stepdaughter Esther, who became the queen (of the good guys), save their people.

See more pictures of Purim on PhotoBlog.