The Adloyada is a parade held every year during Purim. It`s a tradition dating back to the early days of Tel Aviv. The first Adloyada was held in Tel Aviv, and it was the initiative of Abraham Aldema, artist, actor and public activist.
Aldema decided to organize a Purim costume parade in 1912. Here is what he wrote in his diary: “In 1912 I organized by myself the first Purim Parade. At first we called it simply a procession. I put all the Herzliya students in threes, and at the head of the parade there was a student dressed as Mordechai, riding a white horse. Another student who was dressed as Haman led the horse. There were also other characters: Esther dressed in luxurious clothes, the fat Ahasuerus, and other figures from the Book of Esther.”
Since Tel Aviv was founded just 3 years earlier, there was only one main street in this young city, and the length of the parade route was just about 350 meters, from the yard of the gymnasium (high school) to the end of the street. The parade included giant dolls, an orchestra and hundreds of children dressed in different costumes.
Over the years the parade had become a regular Purim tradition. The former mayor of Tel Aviv, Meir Dizengoff, led the processions on horseback. The processions in Tel Aviv were accompanied by fancy Purim parties.
In the thirties, it was decided to give a central theme to every Purim Parade, (like “the tribes of Israel” in 1934). During this period, the events of Purim in Tel Aviv attracted visitors from all over the country and even abroad.
Out of 300 offers, the suggestion of the writer Isaac Dov Berkowitz was chosen. He recommend the name “Adloyada,” which was derived from the rabbinic saying (Meg. 7b) that one should reach drunkenness on Purim until one no longer knows (ad de-lo yada) the difference between “Blessed be Mordecai” and “Cursed be Haman.
The Purim Parade tradition waned during World War II, and was renewed only on Purim 1955. In the late sixties the Tel Aviv parade was transferred to Holon.
In the recent years we see the return of the tradition and renewal of the Adloyada as a big festive Purim event in the central streets of Israeli cities.
Unfortunately, this year most of the Purim events and the Adloyada Parades were canceled because of the stormy and rainy weather.
The Adloyada in Tel Aviv 1959 (pictures courtesy of http://www.tel-aviv.gov.il/English/)