Purim begins on the evening of Wednesday, March 4, and we will hold our service, spiel and carnival at that time. Absent from the list of Torah holidays (chagim) are Chanukah and Purim, and they are therefore considered “minor” holidays.
Scholars guess that Ahashueras was Xerxes I of Persia, since Megillat Esther occurs during the fifth century BCE. “Pur” is an Akkadian word that means “lot,” as in casting your dice for chance or fate. Haman cast lots to fix the date for the destruction of the Jews, and this date was the 13th of Adar. This became now the Fast of Esther in remembrance of her fast before coming to the King to plead for her people.