Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah starts on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually falls in the months of late November or December. As one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays, Hanukkah has become a popular winter holiday among many, regardless of religious observance.
Hanukkah celebrates the defeat of Greek-Syrian armies and the reclaiming of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem from Seleucid control. According to tradition, when the Temple was reclaimed, there was only enough holy oil to light the temple’s menorah for one day. However, the oil “miraculously” lasted for eight days – and it is that miracle that is celebrated throughout Hanukkah. The eight days of Hanukkah vary every year, falling on the 25th of Kislev and extending through the 2nd of Tevet. To celebrate, a special menorah – or Hanukkiah – is lit, with a flame kindled in each of the nine branches.
The festival of Hanukkah celebrates many elements of Jewish life and tradition too. From the rituals of lighting the menorah to the eating of different types of food, Hanukkah is a time to celebrate being Jewish. One of the most beloved customs is the playing of the dreidel game, which uses a four-sided spinning top. Jews play the game for different types of prizes, usually chocolate coins or nuts.
Hanukkah is a time for families to come together, share stories of their heritage, and remind themselves of the importance of religion in their lives. For Jews, Hanukkah is an important reminder of the strength and faith of the Jewish people and an opportunity for families to spend quality time together while engaging in activities to honor their faith. As with all religious holidays, it is also important for Jews to share their heritage and celebrate with the wider world. By participating in Hanukkah, we can all experience the unique traditions of this holiday and share the miracles it stands for.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.