Purim is the festival of the Jews celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Adar of the Hebrew calendar. This festival commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in Ancient Persia from Haman's plot "to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day." In the leap years the month of Adar comes twice and the festival is celebrated during the second month of Adar.
The story of Purim is recorded in the Megillah the Scroll on which the Book of Esther is written. It tells the story of Queen Esther, King Ahasuerus, Esther's uncle Mordechai, and the king's chief advisor Haman.
Haman was the villian of the story. Haman hated Mordechai because the later refused to bow before him and thus he planned to destroy the Jewish people. Haman told the king that there were some people in all the provinces scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples. They neither followed the king's rule nor obeyed any other rules. The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, to do as he pleased to them. Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews. Mordechai convinced Esther to talk to the king and tell him about Haman's plotting. At that time the king didn't meet anybody without summoned and whoever came that way was hanged to death. Esther prepared herself for death by fasting for three days. When she met the king she was given a warm welcome and she told everything to the kind. Haman was hanged to death and the Jews were thus saved.
The ceremonies of Purim include reading the book Esther in a synagogue. The Megilla is read with a cantillation, a traditional chant, differing from that used in the customary reading of the Torah. Originally this enactment was for the 14th of Adar only later on Rabbi Joshua ben Levi during the 3rd century CE prescribed that the Megillah should also be read on the eve of Purim. he obliged women to attend the reading of the Megillah as Queen Esther was a woman through whom the miraculous deliverance of the Jews was accomplished.