Purim was not observed widely until the 2nd century, when it was referred to as the Day of Mordecai or Day of Protection. But even the earliest celebrations included reciting the story of Esther and exchanging gifts (Shalashmanot). It is customary to serve a large meal, known as the Seuday, in the afternoon rather than the evening. Turkey is a popular main dish at this meal, and there are usually Kreplach in the soup. Hamantachen is a favorite dessert for Purim.
Some scholars refute the truth of the Book of Esther, they conclude possibly the origin of Purim came from an old Persian word meaning, "first," going back to the old Persian New Year Festival, which was celebrated around the time of the Vernal Equinox.
This holiday is celebrated by the Jews on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, which falls either in February or March. Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jews in Shushan, the capital of Persia, from a plot to destroy them. The story is told in the Book of Esther from the Bible. This book and four other Old Testament scrolls (megillot) are read during Jewish holidays.