Purim (Hebrew: פורים Pûrîm "Lots", from Akkadian pūru) is a joyous Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of Persian Jews from the plot of the evil Haman to exterminate them, as recorded in the biblical Book of Esther. It is characterized by public recitation of the Book of Esther, giving mutual gifts of food and drink, giving charity to the poor, and a celebratory meal (Esther 9:22); other customs include drinking alcohol, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration.
Purim is celebrated annually on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar. (In cities that were walled in the time of Joshua, including Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated on the 15th of the month, known as Shushan Purim). As with all Jewish holidays, Purim begins at sundown on the previous secular day.
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- Image attribution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim. Caption: Purim gragger, also called "ra'ashan" (noisemaker), used when Haman's name is mentioned during the reading of the Megillah, as tradition dictates, to blot out the name of evil.###