The Jewish holiday, Purim, is one of the most joyous holidays celebrated on the Jewish calendar. The celebration commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all of the Jews. Taking place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire, the story is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.
There are a number of ways Purim is celebrated among Jews: exchanging gifts of food and drinks, donating to charity, eating a celebratory meal known as se’udat Purim, public recitation of the Scroll of Esther, daily prayers and grace after meals. Similar to Hanukkah, Purim has more of a national than a religious character; moreover, its holiday status is on a smaller scale compared to the days ordained holy by the Torah.
Aside from feasts, fasting is another well-known celebratory act. The Fast of Esther, observed before Purim, is an original part of the Purim celebration. While the fast of the 13th is still commonly observed, if the date fall on Sabbath, then the fast is pushed forward to the preceding Thursday, Friday being needed to prepare for Sabbath and the following Purim festival.
Purim is a very interesting event and celebration. There are a number of cultural facets and elements involved. While some facts are widely known, others are not. Let’s dive into the celebration of Purim and define the things you should definitely know.