Purim is the wild child of Jewish holidays. The celebration is based on events described in the Biblical Book of Esther, which reads like a fairy tale complete with queens, villains, eunuchs and happy endings (of course, not for the villain). Esther is the heroine queen and her nemesis is Haman. At the end of the book, with Haman vanquished, Esther's people celebrate with feasts and merrymaking, and by sending gifts to one another and giving presents to the poor. Those customs continue to be observed and a few others were added: reading Esther's story aloud from a scroll, making a lot of noise every time he-who-shall-not-be-named is mentioned, plus masquerading, parading and enjoying carnivals.