Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people, in the year 3405 from Creation (356 bce), from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jew, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.
Haman was Prime Minister to the Persian emperor Achashveirosh, whose dominion extended from India to Ethiopia. Endorsed by Achashveirosh, Haman’s decree boded the physical destruction of every single Jew on the face of the earth.
While the sage Mordechai rallied the Jews to prayer and repentance, his cousin, Queen Ester, engineered Haman’s downfall at a private wine party to which she invited the king and the minister. She prevailed upon Achashveirosh to hang Haman and to issue a second decree, empowering the Jews to defend themselves against those who sought to destroy them.
On the 13th of Adar — the day selected by Haman’s pur (Lottery) — numerous battles were fought throughout the empire between the Jews and those who attempted to carry out Haman’s decree (which was never actually revoked).