Zimmern indeed connects the Akitu festival with 'that of Purim on the 15th Adar (March); see K.A.T.
The death of the god, he suggests, is represented by the Fast of Esther on the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim, while the rejoicing on Purim itself, and the licence accompanying it, recall the union of the god and goddess of vegetation, of which he sees traces in the relations of Mordecai and Esther.
That one of the earlier dates is correct seems probable from the fact that the Falashas know nothing of either the Babylonian or Jerusalem Talmud, make no use of phylacteries (tefillin), and observe neither the feast of Purim nor the dedication of the temple.
Frazer connects Purim with the whole series of spring festivals current in western Asia, in which the old god of vegetation was put to death and a new human representative of him elected and allowed to have royal and divine rights, so as to promote the coming harvest (Golden Bough, 2nd.
Vii.) that, in 416 A.D., the Jews of Inmester, a town in Syria, illtreated a Christian child during some Purim pranks and caused his death.
This etymological connexion, suggested by Jensen (Kosmologie, 84), brings the festival of Purim into close relation with the Babylonian New Year festival known as Zagmuku, in which one of the most prominent ceremonials was the celebration of the assembly of the gods under the presidency of Marduk (Merodach) for the purpose of determining the fates of the New Year.
The Jews of Frankfort celebrate their special Purim on the 10th of Adar because of their deliverance from persecution by Fettmilch in 1616.
In later days the same function was performed by the Purim Rabbi, who often indulged in parodies of the ritual.
From the 17th century onward Purim plays were performed mostly by the children, who improvised a dramatic version of the story of Esther.
Erbt, Die Purimsage (Berlin, 1900); Abrahams, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages; Lagarde, Purim, ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Religion (Gottingen, 885); Steinschneider, Purim and Parodie (Berlin, 1902); P. Haupt, Purim (Leipzig, 1906); I.