Purim 2019 date: When is Purim, what time does it start? How is Purim celebrated?
Purim is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia. The festival is celebrated every year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar – late winter/early spring. The Jewish people in ancient Persia were saved from Haman’s plot to “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day” according to the Megillah or Book of Esther.
When is Purim, what time does it start?
This year, Purim begins on Wednesday, March 20 and ends on Thursday, March 21 at sundown.
The holiday commemorates a period in the 4th century BCE in the Persian Empire where all Jews were its subjects.
King Ahasuerus commanded his wife, Queen Vashti, be executed for failing to obey his orders and subsequently arranged a beauty pageant to find a new bride.
The new queen was Esther, who had caught the kings eye during the pageant – however, she did not reveal her nationality.
At the same time, Jew-hating Haman was appointed the prime minister of the empire, and Mordechai – the leader of the Jews – refused to bow to Haman.
Hamas was furious and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the deaths of all dues on the 13th of Adar.
Mordechai spurred all Jews into action, asking them to repent, fast and pray.
Esther invited the King and Haman to join her for a feast and there revealed her Jewish identity.
This led to Haman’s hanging, Mordechai was then elected prime minister in his wake and a new decree issued giving the Jews the right to defend themselves against enemies.
On the 13th of Adar, the Jews killed many of their enemies, whilst the next day on the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.
How is Purim celebrated?
Purim is celebrated by the reading of the Book of Esther or Megillah, which tells the story of the holiday.
Money is given, to at least two poorer people, and a gift of at least two types of food is given to at least one person.
There is also Purim feasts – which include wine and traditional foods such as hamantaschen or oznay Haman which are three-cornered pastries with poppy seeds or another sweet filling.
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