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Purim 2015

Everything you need to know about Purim 2015.

When does Purim 2015 start?

Purim 2015 begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 4, and ends on Thursday evening, March 5.

The Background of Purim

The story of the joyous holiday of Purim might appear somber at first glance: It tells of the near-destruction of the Jewish people as decreed by Haman, an advisor to the Persian King Ahashuerus.

However, Ahashuerus’ newly crowned queen, Esther–who replaced Vashti when she was thrown out of the kingdom–is secretly a Jew.

Due to her courage and her eventual role in saving the Jews, the story of Purim is known as “Megillat Esther,” or the Scroll of Esther.

What to Do on Purim

There are four common practices on Purim:

* We give gifts to poor people.

* We read the megillah, the Purim story.

* We eat a festive meal, or seudah.

* We give food gifts, called mishloah manot, to our friends.

Other Purim Activities

Many people dress up in costume, following the theme of Purim as a holiday of disguise where nothing is quite as it seems. Synagogues and communities hold plays and festivals specifically for the day. Traditionally, a noisemaker or grogger is sounded when Haman’s name is said aloud during the megillah reading; today some people have instituted a new practice of waving a celebratory flag when Esther’s name is recited.

How Much Do You Know?

Think you know everything about Purim? Take a Purim quiz, or watch a special Kveller video about Purim with puppets!

Discover More

Reading the Megillah

The Scroll of Esther, which tells the Purim story, is chanted in synagogue twice on Purim.

The Purim Meal

Eat, drink, and be merry is not without controversy.

Purim Themes and Theology

At its core, this festive holiday grapples with deep and even troubling themes.