March 8, 2012 is Purim. Actually, as per Jewish tradition, the holiday begins at sundown the night before and ends at sunset March 8.
Purim commemorates the happenings recorded in the book of Esther, when Haman tried to have official, government approved genocide of all Jews in Persia, and Esther, the brand new queen and a Jewess, risked her life to be her king and husband to save her people. The term “purim” is taken from the word for the lots Haman cast to decide the day he wanted to kill the Jews.
I’d encourage you to read the book of Esther today. It’s not a long book, and it feels full of action to me. For a brief summary, you could read Esther 9:24-28. You could also celebrate with a traditional Purim cookie: hamantashen. My favorite verse comes from a message from Esther’s uncle Mordecai:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
*actual date varies from year to year.