Question:

This year Purim falls on Friday. When do I give mishloach manot and the gifts to the poor, and when do I schedule the Purim feast?

Answer:

Purim on Friday is a fairly unusual occurrence, and requires some planning in order to fulfill all the mitzvot in their proper time, and still be ready for Shabbat on time. The Megillah is read Thursday night and Friday morning, and mishloach manot (food gifts) and matanot laevyonim (charity) are both given during the daylight hours of Friday.

The real question is when to hold the festive Purim meal. Ideally we do not eat a full meal in close proximity to Shabbat, this to ensure that we approach the Shabbat table with a hardy appetite.1 The best solution is to have the Purim meal on Friday morning, before midday. If this is not an option, try to schedule the meal as early in the afternoon as possible.2

Tip: Have your Shabbat cooking finished by Thursday night so that your Purim won't be one mad rush!

Malkie Janowski for Chabad.org