One of the customs associated with the holiday Purim is sending each other gifts (mishloach manot), for which at least two portions of different delicacies are to be made. They may not require any additional treatment from the recipient; they must be suitable for immediate consumption. The most common are: cookies, fruit, grape juice, sweets, drinks, and alcohol. The gift is traditionally provided by a messenger. In the past, these types of gifts were passed on using special plates — called purim — usually made of ceramics or tin, whose mirror was usually decorated with scenes from the Book of Esther or representations of three entwined fish (meaning the constellation of Pisces in the month Adar).
On this day, generosity should be shown towards all the poor (cedaka). Fulfilling this mitzvah (matanot lewjonim) manifests itself in giving donations or presents, or funding a meal for at least two people. In this case, the dish is transferred via a middleman (szelijacha), for reasons of anonymity. Both of these commandments must be completed within one day.
Elaborated by The Irena and Mieczysław Mazaraki Museum in Chrzanów, Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums, © all rights reserved