All about Purim
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-10-04
Your easy to understand guide to Jewish festivals.
Purim (Festival of Lots)
This one-day festival takes place four weeks before Passover and usually falls in February or early March.
It recalls the story of Esther, a Queen who foiled a plot by one of her advisors, Haman, to kill all the Jews. As well as the story being read in synagogue in a book called the Megillah, it is a day for parties and celebrations, and fancy dress is traditional. Pastries called Hamentaschen are also eaten - these are triangular (the same shape as Haman's hat, supposedly) and filled with poppy seeds, jam or fruit.
Normal work and activities are permitted on Purim.