Purim 2012 begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 7, and ends at nightfall on Thursday, March 8.
What is Purim?
Purim is a celebratory day, the Festival of Lots. On Purim, we embrace chance and fate. We dress in costumes and masks. We listen to the reading of the Purim megillah, the Story of Esther. And we follow special customs to give presents to our friends and to people in need.
What is the history of Purim?
In the land of Shushan, Haman–a minister to King Ahashuerus–sought to destroy the Jews. Meanwhile, King Ahashuerus claimed a new queen, Esther, who is Jewish. Esther and her cousin Mordecai together must outwit Haman, and save their people.
What do people do on Purim?
Some fun things to do on Purim include:
• Listening to the megillah reading and sounding a gragger when Haman’s name is read
• Making your own Purim costume
• Holding a play, a carnival, or a Purim shpiel
• Eat a festive celebratory meal for the holiday
• Some people have a custom to drink on Purim–read this article for more information.
Pronounced: muh-GILL-uh, Origin: Hebrew, meaning “scroll,” it is usually used to refer to the scroll of Esther (Megillat Esther, also known as the Book of Esther), a book of the Bible traditionally read twice during the holiday of Purim. Slang: a long and tedious story or explanation.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.