In a leap year, Purim is marked in the second Adar. In the first Adar, the 14th is noted as Purim Katan and the day after, as Shushan Purim Katan. The implications are limited (basically) to slight liturgical changes and the possibility of a little more celebration.

If, as this article suggests, the reasoning is that the actual Purim event happened in the first Adar of a leap year

Others, however, explain that the Talmud is actually stating that Haman’s lottery fell out on the 12th month, Adar I in a leap year. {See, for example, Yaarot Devash 2:7; responsum Chatam Sofer, Orach Chaim 163.}

then why wouldn't there also be a ta'anit Esther Katan on the 13th of Adar 1? I'm not suggesting any particular practice or ritual implications, but if we draw the parallels between the two months, why stop short of including the (commemoration of the )fast preceding the event?

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    You're more than welcome to have one. Most people are apparently not interested so there's no widespread fasting. Taanit Esther is not part of a formal law that you can ask questions about where or when it should apply.
    – Double AA
    Feb 14, 2022 at 12:47
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    For what it's worth, Otzar ha-Geonim on Megilah says: "וי"ג של אדר הראשון נמי מתענין כי"ג של אדר השני".
    – Tamir Evan
    Feb 14, 2022 at 13:11
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    Before Taanis Esther became Taanis Esther (and for centuries after the events of Purim), the 13th of Adar was Yom Nikanor, a holiday on Megillas Taanis. Taanis Esther didn't become a thing until the fall of the 2nd Beis haMiqdash voided Megilas Taanis (except Chanukah, of course). First mention of the fast day is in the She'iltos -- ge'onic period. Just to reinforce what @DoubleAA said early about the lack of depth to the reality of Taanis Esther. (And to reinforce the CYLOR of eating on Taanis Esther when one is less sick than one would be before asking about other fast days.) Feb 14, 2022 at 16:05
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    @double AA should I be expecting shaloch manos tomorrow? The Rema says our custom is not to make a Seuda and the last I checked, there’s no matanos levyonim. So, unless skipping tachnun is your version of a celebration, we only celebrate in the second month
    – Chatzkel
    Feb 15, 2022 at 0:02
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    @Chatzkel you're appealing to people's emotional sense of the day instead of to halacha. The gemara clearly indicates Purim is in both months, with certain mitzvot that should only happen once happening on the second one. It doesn't mean today's not purim, it means it's purim without certain mitzvot. Ein bein adar 1 and adar 2 ela certain positive mitzvot (and then machloket rishonim if shaloch manos is included in the exclusion of matanot laevyonim since they're in the same pasuk once i guess, or, more likely, saying there is issur taanit is the same as saying to have a party).
    – Double AA
    Feb 15, 2022 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


It is customary not to increase bad news as opposed to days we celebrate. Therefore, the miracle of Purim is celebrated in both months but not the fast. Keep in mind that the actual fast occurred in Nisan not Adar so there is no significance in fasting in both months whereas Purim was in Adar so it is attached to both Adar 1 and Adar 2

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    Taanit Esther is not bad news. Also some hold the fast was in Adar on the day of the battle, so -1 this answer is clearly wrong.
    – Double AA
    Feb 14, 2022 at 22:33
  • Also something not happening in Adar doesn't imply there's no reason to commemorate it in both months. That's just a non sequitur.
    – Double AA
    Feb 14, 2022 at 22:53

Perhaps every leap year is considered like a "Safek" (ספק) of which Adar is the primary Adar. Therefore we will be lenient when it comes to fasting to only fast on that month that we consider in halacha the primary one. This idea can be on a Yerushalmi on why we don't fast 2 days Yom Kippur because of a ספיקא דיומא (see Rem"a hilchos Yom Kippur siman 624).

  • The case of yom kippur is two adjacent days which isn't relevant here. Can you provide any indication that a leap year is considered a safek? I've never heard that before and strongly doubt its veracity.
    – Double AA
    Mar 17, 2023 at 15:59
  • according to the the great Gaon of Ostrovtze (Rav Meir Yecheil Halevi Halshtuck z"l) his understanding of the Yerushalmi above is relevant my comparison to Tannis Esther (check this link (hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=40970&st=&pgnum=115) to see his a beautiful and novel approach to this Yerushalmi). I considered it a safek based on the fact that there is a dispute in the Gemara Megilla 6b determining the primary Adar.. Mar 17, 2023 at 16:59
  • The gemara does not debate which adar is primary, but rather in which adar's purim do we perform certain mitzvot. Additionally, the fact that there is a debate in the gemara about something does not automatically make it a safek.
    – Double AA
    Mar 17, 2023 at 17:32

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