The Gemarra states “Mi she-nichnas Adar marbim be-simcha”, when we enter the month of Adar we should increase our happiness. It is a joyous month containing Purim. The festival commemorates the triumph of Mordechai and Esther over the wicked vizier Haman in Shushan, the Babylonian capital 367 BCE (3404).
The day leading up to the reading of the Megilla is Ta’anit Esther, in which we fast, recalling the fast of the Jews in Shushan before Esther approached Achashverosh to ask for her people to be spared.
Purim is celebrated with the reading of the Megilla in the evening and morning. We give Matanot Le’Evyonim (Gifts to the poor – at least two separate donations) and also Mishloach Manot (at least one gift of two types of food). On the day of Purim there is a mitzvah of Mishteh – a party, where one should enjoy the wine a little more than normal.
Shushan Purim on Adar 15th marks the day that the battle was completed in the capital. This is the date on which Purim is celebrated in Jerusalem & ancient walled cities.
In a leap year, Purim falls in Adar Sheni, the second month of Adar. This way, it is always 30 days before Pesach.
There was fun for young and old at The Great's Purim celebrations on Sunday morning 28 February.
The Megillah was read by Chazan Hilton in Wizard mode, while Rabbi (Mr Darcy) Lawrence looked on. Greggars were whirled and boos and hisses uttered at the name of Haman and as always everyone had a thoroughly good time.
Then it was downstairs for hamentashen until the entertainment started. For the little people there was Captain Bandana (aka Sharon Saul) and Splash the Mermaid (aka Amanda Mayhew) as well as a magician .
For the grownups (who wanted to behave like children!) there was a very funny Purim Spiel called Megillah Mia which told the Purim story to the tunes of ABBA.