Purim in United States
Quick FactsPurim commemorates a time when Jewish people were saved from death around the fourth century BCE, according to the Book of Esther.
Purim 2014Sunday, March 16, 2014
Purim 2015Thursday, March 5, 2015
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
List of dates for other years
Purim marks the Jewish people’s deliverance from a royal death decree around the fourth century BCE, as told in the Book of Esther. Many Jewish Americans celebrate Purim on the 14th day of the month of Adar in the Jewish calendar, which is in February or March in the Gregorian calendar.
According to many sources, the celebrations begin at around sunset on the 13th day of Adar, while other sources mention that Purim is observed on the 15th day of Adar.
What do people do?
Many Jewish people, especially children, in the United States use this event as an opportunity to listen to the Megilla (or Megillah) to relive the events that are told about the story of Esther, Mordecai and Haman. It is customary to twirl graggers (Purim noisemakers) and stamp one's feet when Haman’s name is mentioned.
Many Jewish people give to the needy around this time of the year. Food baskets or food gifts are also given away. It is a time for people to celebrate and be merry. So some Jewish schools hold celebrations to remember the past and their heritage. Other groups or organizations hold Purim carnivals filled with activities, costumes, food and games. Special prayers, particularly the Al HaNissim prayer are also included in evening, morning and afternoon prayers.
Purim is not a public holiday in the United States. It is a relatively minor festival and some activities that are not allowed on many Jewish holidays may be permitted on Purim.
Background and symbols
Purim has been celebrated in the United States for many years. Old newspaper articles dating as far back as 1860 have reported about Purim festivals, where wealthy Jewish families would donate to charity. It has been written in other newspapers, particularly from the early 20th century, that Purim was a day of cheerfulness and festivity among many Jewish communities in the United States.
One of the Purim symbols often seen on the day is the gragger (wooden noisemaker). Graggers are often made of wood and consist of a handle fixed to a cogged wheel.
About Purim in other countriesRead more about Purim.
Purim ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday type||Where it is observed|
|Sun||Mar 11||1990||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Feb 28||1991||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 19||1992||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 7||1993||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Feb 25||1994||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 16||1995||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 5||1996||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 23||1997||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 12||1998||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 2||1999||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 21||2000||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Mar 9||2001||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Feb 26||2002||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 18||2003||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 7||2004||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Mar 25||2005||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 14||2006||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 4||2007||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Mar 21||2008||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 10||2009||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Feb 28||2010||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 20||2011||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 8||2012||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Feb 24||2013||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 16||2014||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 5||2015||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 24||2016||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Mar 12||2017||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 1||2018||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Mar 21||2019||Purim||Jewish holiday|
|Tue||Mar 10||2020||Purim||Jewish holiday|
Other holidays in March 2014 in United States
- Self-injury Awareness Day ―Saturday, March 1, 2014
- St. David's Day ―Saturday, March 1, 2014
- Texas Independence Day ―Sunday, March 2, 2014
- Casimir Pulaski Day ―Monday, March 3, 2014
- Read Across America Day ―Monday, March 3, 2014
- Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras ―Tuesday, March 4, 2014
- Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras ―Tuesday, March 4, 2014
- Town Meeting Day Vermont ―Tuesday, March 4, 2014
- Ash Wednesday ―Wednesday, March 5, 2014
- International Women's Day ―Saturday, March 8, 2014
- Daylight Saving Time starts ―Sunday, March 9, 2014
- World Kidney Day ―Thursday, March 13, 2014
- Pi Day ―Friday, March 14, 2014
- St. Patrick's Day ―Monday, March 17, 2014
- Evacuation Day ―Monday, March 17, 2014
- March equinox ―Thursday, March 20, 2014
- International Day of Happiness ―Thursday, March 20, 2014
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination ―Friday, March 21, 2014
- World Poetry Day ―Friday, March 21, 2014
- International Day of Nowruz ―Friday, March 21, 2014
- World Down Syndrome Day ―Friday, March 21, 2014
- International Day of Forests ―Friday, March 21, 2014
- World Water Day ―Saturday, March 22, 2014
- World Meteorological Day ―Sunday, March 23, 2014
- World Tuberculosis Day ―Monday, March 24, 2014
- International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims ―Monday, March 24, 2014
- International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade ―Tuesday, March 25, 2014
- International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members ―Tuesday, March 25, 2014
- Maryland Day ―Tuesday, March 25, 2014
- Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day ―Wednesday, March 26, 2014
- Earth Hour ―Saturday, March 29, 2014
- Seward's Day ―Monday, March 31, 2014
- César Chávez Day ―Monday, March 31, 2014
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