Purim - Feast of Esther
Purim/Feast of Esther (Exodus 17:8-16) is celebrated every year 14 Adar (this year its March 12).
The Story In A Nutshell
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.
Meanwhile, the anti-Semitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther's cousin) defied the king's orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made. Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G?d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast.
At the feast, On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies.
On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.
Reading of the Megillah (Book of Esther), which recounts the story of the Purim miracle, the giving of money gifts to the poor, sending gifts of food to friends and a festive Purim Feast