The celebration of Purim begins at sundown on March 6th and continues until nightfall on March 7th.
Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the hands of Haman, a Persian nobel and member of King Ahasuerus' court, who plotted to wipe out the Jews that had fallen under Persian rule when the Persian Empire conquered Babylonia. King Ahasuerus' queen, Esther, convinced her husband to spare the Jews as she was Jewish herself. Haman was instead put to death for the plot, and the Jews living in Babylonia defend themselves from Haman's attackers. The Book of Esther was written to record what Queen Esther had done to protect her people.
Each year on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar the Jewish community celebrates Queen Esther's acts and their salvation at her hands. The Book of Esther is read aloud and gragger, a wooden noisemaker, are used whenever the name Haman is spoken, to "blot out" the evil it represents. The three cornered design of the Hamentaschen is said to resemble the hat that fell from Haman's head when he was punished for plotting against the Jews.
Hamentaschen (or Hamantaschen) are a traditional pastry served during Purim. A sweet dough is filled with poppy, raspberry, prune, apricot, apple or chocolate and the sides are folded in to form a triangular design.
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