PURIM / LOTS
Mar 15, 2014 (starts evening prior)
Every year on Adar 14, the Book of Esther is read, and often enacted by children. Whenever the name of Esther or Mordechai is read, everyone cheers. When the name of Haman or one of his sons is read, it is drowned out by noisemakers or boos, because we are to banish their names. Esther 9:18 & 28 instructs us to celebrate this day.
In a leap year, the twelfth month is Adar I, and the year also has an Adar II. Celebrations usually held in the twelfth month are held in the thirteenth month. Therefore, Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar II (the 14th day of Adar I is called Purim Katan, meaning Little Purim).
If the thirteenth of Adar falls on Shabbat, the Fast of Esther is observed on the preceding Thursday, the eleventh of Adar. Because if Purim falls on the fourteenth, we do not put off the fast for the following day; as is the case for example, when the Ninth of Av falls on Shabbat; nor do we observe it on Friday out of deference to Shabbat. The only public fast that can fall on a Friday is the Tenth of Tevet.