Hanukkah is one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays in the world. It is a time to celebrate and make merry, but what exactly is Hanukkah and how long has it been celebrated? Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, and commemorates the struggle of the Jewish people to celebrate their religious freedom and keep their traditions alive. The holiday is said to commemorate the event that happened in the 2nd century BCE, when the Maccabees led a revolt against the Syrian-Greeks who had been trying to interfere with their religious practices. To celebrate this event, it is customary to light a menorah, exchange gifts, and eat fried foods.
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What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight day Jewish holiday commemorating the struggle of the Jewish people to keep their traditions in the face of persecution. The holiday centers around a tiny jug of oil said to have lasted eight days when only enough for one day should have been provided.
The Meaning of Hanukkah
The central theme of Hanukkah is for everyone in the Jewish community to remember what it means to stand up for what they believe in and fight for their religious freedom. The Maccabees’ efforts are celebrated every time a candle is lit on the eight day holiday.
When is Hanukkah Celebrated?
Hanukkah is celebrated annually on the 25th day of the Jewish month Kislev. Unlike the Gregorian calendar most of us are used to, the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar which means that the months don’t always fall in the same place every year. This means that Hanukkah can occur anywhere from late November to late December.
Symbols of Hanukkah
- Menorah: The most iconic symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah, which is a candelabrum with nine branches, used to light nine candles to celebrate the holiday.
- Dreidel: The dreidel is typically made out of clay or wood and is used as a game of chance between family members. It is usually made into the shape of a four sided spinning top.
- Gelt: Gelt are small chocolate coins wrapped in foil that are often given out as gifts during Hanukkah. It is said to be a tradition dating back to the 18th century and the practice of giving money.
Hanukkah is a time for joy, celebration, and perspective. The light of the menorah should symbolize hope and perseverance to us, and remind us of the importance of standing up for what we believe in. Celebrating Hanukkah with family and friends is also an important part of the holiday, which includes exchanging gifts, eating special dishes, and engaging in activities like the dreidel game. Whether it is late November or late December each year, the festival of lights will continue to bring joy and celebration to the Jewish community around the world.
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Last update 2023-11-20. Price and product availability may change.