Celebrations for Purim, the holiday marking the miraculous rescue of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman's genocidal plot in Persia, start on Thursday, March 20 (Purim itself is on Friday), and run through Sunday. Considered a festival focused on children and families, here are some of the events taking place across the country. (All activities are free of charge unless mentioned otherwise.) Holon: The traditional Adloyada parade and carnival in Holon will be held at noon, Friday, March 21. The theme this year is "60 Years in the Eyes of the Children." Participants will be able to "meet" historical figures, or rather dressed up, as such as Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, as well as former prime ministers Golda Meir, Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres. There will also be cultural characters from Israeli literature and television shows, such as Kofiko, Hasamba, Dodly and Fistuk. More than 4,000 marchers are expected participate in the event, which will also feature some 20 street performances, as well as artists, musicians, dancers and actors acquainting the audience with historical events of the State of Israel. The Adloyada will start at Rehov Sokolov, and proceed along Rehov Weizmann to City Hall. Tel Aviv: The city that never sleeps invites Purim celebrants to the confluence of five colorful worlds on Rehov Ben-Yehuda, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday. You may visit the Pink World of the fairies, the Blue World of the sea, the Red World of the circus, the Green World of the jungle and the White World of the Book of Esther. There will be dancers, clowns, jugglers, actors, drummers and make-up stations. A public reading of the Book of Esther with Tel Aviv-Jaffa's chief rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, will be held on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. on Rothschild Avenue, between Sheinkin and Bar-Ilan streets. On Sunday, children and parents are invited to "a Purim happening" at the Meyerhoff Art Education Center at the Tel Aviv Museum for drawing, printing, sculpture, photography and other workshops. Jerusalem: The Youth Department at the Jerusalem Municipality has organized a series of costume parties for Purim this year. On Wednesday, March 19 at 10:30 p.m., four dance floors at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha'ooma) will host university students for a party and a concert of Pshutei Ha'am. Transportation will leave from the students' dorms. Tickets are NIS 50-80 and can be purchased in advance at student unions and offices: 02-6483888. The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is throwing its annual Purim party at The Nation Parking Lot, in front of the High Court of Justice, on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. Three dance floors and six disc jockeys should keep students and their friends happy. Discount tickets can be purchased in advance at Bezalel or at the party from NIS 40-90. Another Purim costume ball will be held at Talpiot's Pavilion Hall, on Thursday at 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for NIS 40-60, or on the night for the price of NIS 100. On Saturday night, dozens of pubs, bars and clubs are hosting musical performances, theatrical shows and stand-up acts. Among those taking part in the celebrations are: Shlomtzi, Sol, Seven, Van Gogh, Ha'Marakiya, Canaan, D. Grey, Ha'Havatzelet, Gola, Glue, Mike's Place, Blue Hole, Yankees and Dabbling. The Ein Yael Active Museum (opposite the zoo) invites children and their parents for a Shushan Ha'Bira Purim Festival from March 21-23 (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Visitors can learn about the production of perfumes, cosmetics, spices and oils in ancient times. The festival will be held on a reconstructed Roman Street, a magical historical site that takes one back 2,000 years ago. In addition, Ein Yael Active Museum is making a valiant attempt to simulate life in ancient Eretz Israel with orchards, springs, terraces and agriculture as they might have looked. A variety of workshops is being offered, with activities that include weaving, pottery, mosaic and fresco arts, and oil production. The entrance fee to the festival and the workshops is NIS 35 per child and NIS 30 per adult. For more information, call 02-645-1866 or go to: www.einyael.com http://www.einyael.com>. Haifa: The northern city will celebrate Purim with a costume festival for the family at the Carmel Center's Louis Promenade on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The carnival will feature a range of entertainment options: A circus, a market, Virtual Reality, percussion instruments, and inflatable games. Jugglers, magicians and acrobats will perform for the crowd. In the spirit of the holiday, the public is also invited to visit an international exhibition of "A Mask and a Mania" at Haifa Museum in the German Colony neighborhood. Some 120 Mexican festival masks are being displayed at the exhibition, which is schedule to run until August 2008. Elsewhere: The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is inviting the public throughout Purim to vote for Israel's national bird at seven of its bird-watching centers across the country: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Latrun, Ma'agan Michael, Hatzeva and the Hermon Field School. In each one of the centers, visitors will be able to inspect the candidates, and vote at ballot boxes. There is a participation fee of NIS 10-15 for a two-hour tour, with the profits to be invested for the benefit of Israel's bird life. The organization has also arranged a variety of tours, nature activities and adventures for Purim nationwide. For more information and registration, call 03-6388688 or go to: www.teva.org.il/leumit http://www.teva.org.il/leumit>.