Parents, children and domestic pets left no costume unrepresented in the scores of parades and carnivals that overtook Israel's streets on an unusually sunny March weekend – which weather forecasts only stands to grow even warmer.
In southern Israel, celebrations were briefly interrupted by a Palestinian rocket barrage from Gaza, however no injuries were caused and no damage was reported.
In Kibbutz Alumim a panic broke out as Color Red rocket sirens sounded, sending the assembled crowd of some 600 people running for cover.
"It was very unpleasant. Many of the participants aren't from the area and came here to visit, they grew frightened and left very quickly," said one of the festival-goers.
Purim parade in Sderot (Photo: Zeev Trachtman)
Patrick, a yeshiva student from Jerusalem who drove down to Sderot with several of his classmates said they had come to celebrate the holiday with residents living in the rocket-battered town.
"We've come to Israel from all over the world because of our love for the country, but we have come to Sderot because it deserves even more of our love," he said.
Ashkelon Deputy Mayor Avi Vaaknin told Ynet that his city's Purim parade was "our response to the rockets, which don't frighten us and will not frighten us in the future."
Netanya Mayor Miriam Fireberg in a patriotic costume (Photo: Ido Erez)
Some 2,000 children, youths and adults took to the streets of Beersheba. The parade was led by decorated trucks and clowns on crutches.
The stars of the march were costumes of Queen Esther, a bride, a bee and a belly dancer. Children enjoyed a performance by singer Harel Moyal and workshops.
Dikla Ezrai, 18, dressed up as Israeli singer Rita. "I came here with my family and friends," she told Ynet. "We are here to celebrate my last Purim as a civilian, because I am about to join the IDF. Every year I invest in a costume, and Rita is a big hit this year, so I decided to dress up as Rita."
Colorful dolls on Tel Aviv's streets (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Tens of thousands of the north's resident took part in the Purim celebrations in Haifa and its surroundings. Thousands of people arrived at the city's Louis Promenade and Yeffe Nof Street for the "Festi-Purim" event. Some 10,000 children and their parents attended a zoo carnival in Kiryat Motzkin.
The summery weather sent out some 4,000 of Carmiel's residents to take part in the holiday parade near the municipality building. The adults wore colorful in order to escape the beating sun, adding to the multicolored atmosphere.
Carmiel dog celebrated as well (Photo: Mati Elmaliach)
Carmiel Mayor Adi Eldar led the parade, dressed as a cowboy and riding a white horse. He was followed by hundreds of youth movement members, representatives of the city's schools, dance groups, huge dolls on crutches and jugglers who added to the joyful atmosphere.
Shir, a seventh grade pupil dressed as a cowgirl, told Ynet, "The most fun part was to see all the costumes, the dolls and the king and queen walking on crutches. The most beautiful costume belonged to my friend Yael, who dressed up as Queen Elizabeth."
The cafés and businesses along the parade's route were packed with residents taking advantage of the opportunity to watch the march while having a cup of coffee.
Some 10,000 people took part in Nahariya's Purim parade, according to police estimates.
Shmulik Hadad, Yonat Atlas, Roni Gal, Ahiya Raved and Zeev Trachtman contributed to this report