Purim is a joyous holiday that affirms and celebrates Jewish survival and continuity throughout history. With celebrations including costumes, skits and songs, noisemakers, and gifts of food, Purim is definitely full of fun! We celebrate Purim on the 14th day of Adar.
The main communal celebration involves a public reading (usually in the synagogue) of the Book of Esther (M’gillat Esther), which tells the story of the holiday.
Purim is an unusual holiday in many respects. First, Esther is the only biblical book in which God is not mentioned. Second, Purim, like Hanukkah, is viewed as a minor festival according to Jewish custom, but has been elevated to a major holiday as a result of the Jewish historical experience. The significance of Purim lies not so much in how it began, but in what it has become: a thankful and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival. In early Reform and Liberal communities Purim was largely removed from the cycle of festivals, in part at the horror of the final chapters of the Book of Esther. Many still feel uncomfortable with its celebration.
In this article Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky of Menorah Synagogue in south Manchester explores both the positives and negatives that many of us experience at Purim, read more here.