Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that falls on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. It typically occurs around the end of November or early December. It is a special time for Jews, as it is observed to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE. It is a joyous holiday, marked with gifting, special foods, and prayer.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which celebrates and commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE. The festival is eight days long and starts on the 25th day of Kislev, a month in the Hebrew calendar that usually falls out around late November or early December.
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The Rededication of the Second Temple
When the Maccabees overthrew the Seleucid Empire, they wanted to reclaim their temple that had been taken. The temple was ransacked, and the menorah oil taken by the Seleucid Empire was only enough to last for one day. After rekindling the menorah, the Maccabees were amazed to find that it stayed lit for eight days. This is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days.
Prayer and Lighting the Menorah
Each night of Hanukkah, during the eight day long celebration, Jews across the world gather to pray and light the traditional Hanukkah menorah. A special prayer known as the “She-asah Nisim” is said, thanking God for His miracles and guidance throughout the Maccabees’ struggle and rededication of the temple.
The Hanukkah Menorah
The Hanukkah menorah has nine branches – eight for the eight nights of the festival, and one “shamash”, a servant light, that is used to light all of the other branches. Each night, an additional branch is lit.
Hanukkah is also known for gift giving, especially for children. Traditionally, children are given small gifts or money and it is a common tradition to give out dreidels to them – a four-sided spinning top, with a Hebrew letter on each side.
Food plays a special role in Hanukkah. Many traditional dishes are prepared, including ones that are fried in oil, such as latkes and sufganiyot. Latkes are grated potatoes, mixed with egg and fried in oil, while sufganiyot are fried doughnuts drizzled with a sugary glaze.
Hanukkah is an incredibly special holiday, celebrated by Jews around the world to commemorate the Maccabean revolt and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday is marked with prayer, gift giving, lighting the menorah, and special food. Regardless of faith, the message of this beautiful holiday is one of resilience, faith, and celebration – a reminder to cherish miracles large and small.
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- What Is Origin Or Meaning Of Hanukkah?
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- Who Celebrate Hanukkah?
- What Event In Jewish History Does Hanukkah Celebrate?
- Why Did Jesus Celebrate Hanukkah?
- How Does Hanukkah Celebrate Christmas?
- How Do People Celebrate Hanukkah?
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- Where Do You Celebrate Hanukkah?
- Why Do We Celebrate Hanukkah For 8 Days?
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