Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt, begins this evening. During the first two nights of the weeklong holiday, Jewish households host family members and friends for the Seder, in which participants read the Hagaddah, drink wine, reenact the 10 plaques and finally, finally eat.
Entrepreneurs have sensed the business opportunity in Passover, the most widely celebrated holiday in the Jewish calendar. Americans spent $1.3 billion on Passover food, gifts and other goods last year, Menachem Lubinsky, the head of marketing consultancy Lubicom, told The New York Times.
In that article, the Times points out some of the wonderfully odd items created to make Passover a bit more fun. Here, we highlight seven (mostly available on Amazon).
The (Unofficial) Hogwarts Haggadah
How do you engage kids with the story of the Jews' escape from Egypt? Throw in Harry Potter, of course. From the description on Amazon: "From the concepts of slavery and freedom, to the focus on education, to the number four, Harry Potter and Passover share almost everything. This book is the perfect companion for young and old at the Seder table."
Rite Lite's Seder Slides looks like a version of Chutes and Ladders -- with a Passover twist, of course. It looks like matzah fun for the whole family.
Matzah Stress Ball
Also from Rite Lite, this, ahem, matzah stress ball, may be the perfect gag gift for the host of the Seder.
Inflatable Pharaoh Punching Bag
Let my people ... punch Pharaoh? This one falls between fun for kids and stress relief for adults. An all-around winner.
Passover Seder Bingo
Kadesh, Maror -- bingo! Give the kids and impatient adults at your Seder table something to do while waiting to eat with Passover Seder Bingo.
Karpas Diem T-shirt
If you're going to insist on wearing a holiday shirt, it might as well have a funny yet infuriating pun on it. Karpas, by the way, is the Passover ritual of eating a vegetable dipped in liquid, typically salt water.
Matzah iPhone Case
What else can I say about this? If you really love matzah, and have an iPhone, go for it. At least you may have some fun hiding your phone in plain sight.