Members of the Portland-area Jewish community gathered Sunday at Deering High School to observe the festival of Purim.

This year’s festival, sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Maine, had an African theme.

Purim is the holiday during which Jews read from the biblical Book of Esther, the story of a queen and her cousin who foil an evil man’s plans to destroy the Jewish people in ancient Persia.

It is customary for people to dress in costumes for the Purim festival.

The Portland celebration included an African buffet, a drum circle and other music, as well as arts and crafts.