At this feast Ahasuerus gets thoroughly drunk, and at the prompting of his courtiers, orders his wife Vashti to display her beauty before the nobles and populace, wearing only her royal crown (the Rabbis of the Oral Torah understand this to mean naked, something she would have wanted to do, but due to a skin condition she refuses to do).
related to Akkadian: pūru) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews.
This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire.
In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of the Biblical Joshua, Purim is instead celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as Shushan Purim, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar.
The Book of Esther begins with a six-month (180-day) drinking feast given by King Ahasuerus for the army of Persia and Medea and the civil servants and princes in the 127 provinces of his kingdom, concluding with a seven-day drinking feast for the inhabitants of Shushan (Susa), rich and poor, and a separate drinking feast for the women organized by Queen Vashti in the pavilion of the royal courtyard.
The first-century CE historian Josephus recounts the origins of Purim in Book 11 of his Antiquities of the Jews.
He follows the Hebrew Book of Esther but shows awareness of some of the additional material found in the Greek version (the Septuagint) in that he too identifies Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes and provides the text of the king's letter.
Ahasuerus then orders all young women to be presented to him, so he can choose a new queen to replace Vashti.
One of these is Esther, who was orphaned at a young age and was being fostered by her first cousin Mordecai.
Thinking that the king is referring to Haman himself, Haman says that the honoree should be dressed in the king's royal robes and led around on the king's royal horse.
To Haman's horror, the king instructs Haman to render such honors to Mordecai.
Some rabbinic commentators state that she was actually Mordecai's wife, since the Torah permits an uncle to marry his niece.