The Feast of Purim is a joyous Jewish holiday that commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from extermination in the Persian Empire. The story is recounted in the Biblical book of Esther, where Haman, a high-ranking official in the Persian court, plans to exterminate all the Jews in the empire. However, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, Queen Esther bravely intervenes and exposes Haman's plot, saving her people. During the celebration of Purim, Jews gather to read the Book of Esther, or Megillah, which tells the story of Esther and Haman. It is traditional to make noise, such as using noisemakers called graggers, every time Haman's name is mentioned during the reading. Additionally, Jews are encouraged to give gifts of food and drink to one another, known as mishloach manot, and to give charity to the poor. Another custom during Purim is to dress up in costumes, a tradition that is thought to originate from the fact that Esther concealed her Jewish identity while living in the Persian court. Additionally, Jews prepare and eat triangular-shaped pastries called hamantaschen, which are filled with sweet fillings such as poppy seed or fruit. The holiday is celebrated on the 14th and 15th days of the Jewish month of Adar, which typically falls in February or March.”