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The days wherein the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
Purim (Hebrew: פורים Pûrîm "lots", from Akkadian pūru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance from Haman's plot to annihilate all the Jews of the Persian Empire, who had survived the Babylonian captivity, after Persia had conquered Babylonia who in turn had destroyed the First Temple and dispersed the Jewish people; as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. It is characterized by public recitation of the Book of Esther, giving mutual gifts of food and drink, giving charity to the poor, and a celebratory meal (Esther 9:22); other customs include drinking wine, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration.