Q: What are the special Shabbatot before Pesach and what is their purpose?

A:  There are five (5) Shabbatot when we read an additional portion from a second Torah scroll and a special Haftarah. Their main purpose is to get the Jews begin preparing spiritually for the Festival of our liberation (in addition to cleaning the kitchens and cooking special dishes for the celebration). The names of these Shabbatot are: Shekalim, Zachor (right before Purim), Parah, HaChodesh and Shabbat HaGadol (The Great Shabbat).

This Shabbat is Shabbat Zachor!