Purim is a two-day celebration to remember the events recorded in the book of Esther. The original instructions are given in the book Esther chapter nine, but over the years, traditions have been added to make this a fun and memorable holiday.
The holiday of Purim is based upon the story of the book of Esther in the Bible. In the story, Esther, a Jewish woman, becomes queen and is able to save her people, the Jews, from total destruction.
The term Purim comes from the Hebrew word for lots. This refers back to the story of Purim in which lots were cast by Haman, the bad guy of the story, to determine the date of destruction for the Jews in Persia.
Today, Purim is a very joyful and fun holiday, complete with family, friends, storytelling, dressing up, and special foods.
The day before Purim, Adar 13, is known as Esther’s Fast in remembrance of the fast Esther declared before she went in to see the king (Esther 4:15-17) Today, is a fast that day to remember that the enemies of God’s people still exist and we need the Lord to strengthen us for the tasks He has for us. This year, Esther’s Fast is on March 6, 2023.
Traditionally, the book of Esther is read aloud during a Purim service or at home. When the story is read you don’t just listen, you participate!
Like most holidays, special foods are made the celebration. Here are some of the traditional foods you will want to try:
You can find these are other Purim recipes here.
Purim is celebrated on Adar 14 if you live in Israel. However, if you live outside Israel the celebration is a two-day holiday celebrated on Adar 14 and 15. The biblical dates of Adar 14-15 fall on March 7-8, 2023 on the Gregorian calendar this year.
Purim is celebrated because of the biblical mandate given in Esther 9:20-22
And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.
Since the time of the original events, Jews and Christians have been remembering how God delivered His people from death under Haman each spring on Purim.
The characters found within the book of Esther all have something to teach us.
Holidays always have two purposes, to remember and to grow spiritually. This week as we remember the events of the book of Esther, how can we grow spiritually? Do we need to take a day of fasting and ask for wisdom, strength, and direction? Is it time to draw our family together, turn of all distractions, and read the book of Esther while sharing special foods?
Regardless of how you celebrate Purim this year, I do hope you take time to read and study the book of Esther and ponder what message the Lord has for you on those days.