Courtesy of AZAMRA
Sunday 16 March / 9 Adar II:
For maximum enjoyment of the supreme holiness of the coming festival Purim, plan ahead where you and all your family will hear Megillat Esther. Set aside money for Matanot La-Evyonim, "Gifts to the Poor" and other charitable contributions on Purim. Prepare your Mishlo'ach Manot, portions of ready-to-eat foods to be sent to your friends, and plan your Purim feast.
"And you shall guard your souls very much" (Deut. 4:15). Parents: please do not allow your children to throw firecrackers, smoke cigarettes, get drunk or engage in other dangerous antics during the Purim season.
Thursday 20 March / 13 Adar II: The Fast of Esther:
The fast commences at dawn. One who must eat prior to the dawn in order to fortify himself for the fast should state his intention to do so before going to sleep the night before.
After the afternoon Minchah prayer it is customary to give three halves of the coin that is the basis of the local currency to charity in memory of the annual half-shekel given by every Israelite in Temple times.
Thursday night 20 March / 14 Adar II: PURIM:
Throughout the world Megillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther, is read in the Synagogue directly following the evening service. The Al Hanisim prayer of thanksgiving for the Purim miracle is added in the blessing of Modim in all three Amidah prayers on Purim as well as in the second blessing of Birkhat HaMazon (Grace after Meals).
It is appropriate to wear festive clothing for the Synagogue services, and to eat a more festive meal than usual on Purim night, although the main Purim feast must be eaten on Purim day.
Friday 20 March / 14 Adar II: PURIM:
"The day is short and the labor is abundant..." After the Shacharit Amidah prayer, the portion in Exodus 17:8-16 describing the war against Amalek is read from the Torah scroll, followed by the morning reading of Megillat Esther.
Gifts of money to the poor -- Matanot La-Eviyonim -- should be given to at least two poor people, ideally on Purim morning itself. One should also send Mishlo'ach Manot, portions of at least two different kinds of ready-to-eat food, to at least one friend, and preferably to more. These mitzvot cause love to reign among all Israel.
The main Purim feast should be eaten during the day allowing sufficient time to prepare for the coming Shabbat. It is good to study some Torah before the feast.
Use the supreme grace that comes with the great joy of the Purim festivities to offer many prayers for everything you need and yearn, and to shower your dear ones and friends with abundant blessings. Many Breslover Chassidim allocate special times on Purim night and during the day for personal prayer (hisbodedus). Just as it is a mitzvah for us to give something to all who stretch out their hands to us on Purim, so G-d answers the prayers of all who stretch out their hands to Him on Purim.
Friday night-Saturday 21-22 March / 15 Adar II:
Shabbat Parshat TZAV, Leviticus 6:1-8:36, setting forth the laws of the sacrificial rituals in the Temple. Haftara: Jeremiah 7:21–8:3; 9:22 criticizing the people for believing that animal sacrifices alone could secure atonement without repentance.
Laws of Pesach: It is customary to commence the study of the laws of the coming festival thirty days in advance.
SHUSHAN PURIM in Jerusalem and certain "walled cities" (Mukafin). When Shushan Purim falls on Shabbat, Jerusalem and the other Mukafin read Megillat Esther and give Matanot La-Eviyonim on 14 Adar, while sending their main Mishloach Manot and eating the Purim feast on Sunday. However, the inhabitants of these cities do recite Al HaNisim in all the Shabbat prayers and read the account of the war against Amalek (Exodus 17:8-16) after the reading of the weekly Torah parshah. They should also study the laws of Purim on this Shabbat.
Sunday 23 March / 16 Adar II: Purim Meshulash ("the Threefold Purim") in Jerusalem and the other Mukafin, where this is the main day for Mishloach Manot and the Purim feast, which is eaten in the later part of the day before sunset continuing into the night. Jerusalem thus continues celebrating Purim after everywhere else, "...and she shall laugh on the last day".
On 16 Adar -370 B.C.E. Cyrus King of Persia gave permission for the building of the Second Temple (Megillat Ta'anit).