Purim Katan: distinctive features of the Jewish holiday

Опубликовано в Purim

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This year we will congratulate each other twice on the occasion of Purim's joyful celebration, because, besides the traditional Jewish holiday Purim Gadol, actual or "big" Purim, we will celebrate Purim Katan which means "little" Purim.

As you know, it is now 5779 according to the Jewish calendar and 2019 according to the Gregorian calendar. This year is considered leap year and hence months of Adar – Adar I and Adar II. In the leap year, Purim is celebrated during the second Adar (Adar II), but Purim Katan is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar I.

Therefore, Purim Katan is celebrated during the Jewish leap year and we will live in it for two months of Adar. In 2019 Purim Katan falls on February 19th (14th of Adar I) and Purim Gadol is on March 21st (14th of Adar II).

There is also Purim Katan of "local significance" and there are about a hundred of them. It is celebrated in some congregations of Israel and other countries and the date of the celebration differs in each congregation and depends on the day of the salvation of a given congregation (or even of an individual family) from a real social threat. For instance, in Israel there is Purim Katan in Tiberias, it falls on the 4th of the month of Elul. On this day in 1743, after a long and dangerous for the Jews siege of the city, the Turkish warlord Suleyman Pasha withdrew his troops from the city limits and died three days later.

The tradition of celebrating Purim Katan is similar to that of the actual Purim and is determined by the local rabbis.

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