Dancers and Floats Fill the Streets for Israel's Purim Parade

The parade featured colorful costumes, dozens of giant floats and plenty of noise.

Thousands took to the streets this week to celebrate the Jewish holy day of Purim in Israel.

The parade, held in Holon near Tel Aviv, featured colorful costumes, dozens of giant floats, hundreds of dancers — and plenty of noise.

Purim celebrates the defeat of the king's viceroy, Haman, and his plot to massacre the Jewish people in ancient Persia about 2,500 years ago.

This year's parade theme was Israel's 70th birthday. Along the route, revelers carried huge, inflated balloons shaped to form "70."

As well as reading from the biblical book of Esther, the Jewish faithful also mark the occasion by sending food parcels, giving to charity, dressing in costumes and eating a festive meal.

This year, Purim started the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 28, and ends on the evening of Thursday, March 1.