One of the joyous and exuberant Jewish holidays celebrated by the Jews all over the world is the Purim Holiday. It is considered a minor holiday and work is not prohibited during this day but the Jews don’t go about their ordinary routines without the proper observance of this holiday.
When is Purim 2014
The celebration of Purim holiday in the Gregorian calendar occurs on the evening of March 15 until the sunset of March 16. (Please be aware that in some places, Purim continues until the sunset of March 17) —See SHUSHAN PURIM).
Purim celebration in the Hebrew calendar always falls on the 14th day of the month of Adar; in Shushan and in other walled cities in Jerusalem, it is until the 15th day of Adar.
Purim holiday usually happens between the months of February and March in the Gregorian calendar.
Purim Background and Origin
Purim holiday was established in Israel as a minor holiday in commemoration of the victorious deliverance of the Jews from their wicked Persian oppressor headed by the roguish and deceitful Haman. He has plotted to exterminate all the Jews, from infant to adult, by casting “purim” (or “ lots,” the plural form of “pur”) a form of lottery to determine the appointed date for the plan to take place which is the 13th of Adar.
But Esther who was chosen by King Achashverosh as his queen to replace queen Vashti who was removed from the palace for her refusal of the king’s order, made a very important and vital decision in her life to stand in the gap for her people and spare their lives from the evil hands of Haman, that the latter have to experience for himself the verdict that he has conspired for the Jews.
The Jews on the other hand, since the kings former decree with a royal stamp cannot be infringed, they were ordered by a royal decree to arm and defend themselves against the angry Persian including the ten evil sons of Haman. Thousands of their enemies were killed on the 13th of Adar, and they celebrated on the 14th day of Adar.
The Four Major Customs of Purim
Purim Holiday even before is celebrated in a very festive mood, where Jews everywhere are happy and rejoicing over their victory. It was in fact recorded in the bible that it should be remembered by every generation. Nowadays, Purim in Israel has a carnival atmosphere where masquerades are everywhere followed by a beauty pageant.
However, here are four major customs that should not be missing during the celebration of Purim:
- Giving gifts and money to the poor. Some Jewish families are even donating their money in charities as an act of generosity.
- The Reading of the Book of Esther. The most distinctive part of this custom are the noisemakers who blot out the name of Haman and make some noise out of the wooden Purim gragger while others shout, “Cursed is Haman.”
- Eating a Festive Purim Meal. It is customary to eat the festive meal in the afternoon with wines present at the table and the triangular pastries called Hamantaschen (Haman’s pocket).
- 4. Sending of Food Gifts. A food gift which is normally arranged in a basket to be given to a friend is a sign of love and friendship with other Jews.
Purim 2015 will be on Thursday, 5th of March.
Purim 2015 in the Gregorian calendar will take place on the evening of Wednesday, March 04 until the sunset of Thursday, March 05.