Purim, a day that celebrates deliverance, begins at sundown today and ends at sundown tomorrow. This Jewish spring holiday honors the Jewish community’s escape from destruction in the ancient Persian Empire. The word itself is derived from the Persian word for “lots”, which is reference to the fact that the date set for this group’s elimination was chosen by casting lots.
Purim occurs every year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, the day that follows the victory of the Jewish people over their enemies.
The plot to kill all Jewish people in the Empire was foiled, and this day of deliverance became a day to feast and rejoice. This holiday is celebrated by the exchange of gifts of food and drink (mishloach manot), public readings from the Book of Esther (k'riat megillah), a donation to the poor (mattanot la-evyonim), and a celebratory meal known as se'udat Purim. However, this holiday is most known for its boisterous feast (se'udah), which usually includes a costumed, joyous public celebration.
Celebrate today and read about the history of Purim, partake in a festive meal, or give gifts of charity.