Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem. It takes place every year during the month of Kislev, which occurs some time between late November and late December. The word ‘Hanukkah’ comes from a Hebrew word meaning “dedication” – referring to the rededication of the Holy Temple. During Hanukkah, Jews commemorate a miracle that is said to have happened during the rededication of the Temple.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that originally celebrated the rededication of the Holy Temple in ancient Jerusalem. It is celebrated each year in the Jewish communities around the world.
There are several traditions that are associated with Hanukkah, which serve to highlight the holiday’s religious and historical significance.
The first Hanukkah tradition is the lighting of the eight-candle Menorah. This is usually done in the evening at sunset and each day of the festival, one extra candle is lit. The Menorah is a multi-branched candelabra, which was originally used in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
The second is the blessing recited beforehand, which includes the famous words ‘Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam’, which essentially translates to “Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe”.
The third tradition is the game of dreidel, or sevivon, which is a spinning top game that is usually played with nuts, coins, or candy. This game is said to have originated as a way to make the Jewish Temple’s prohibition on praying and studying Torah more enjoyable. It is still symbolically related to the miracle of Hanukkah.
Fourthly, Hanukkah is a great time to give and receive gifts. The Jewish tradition dictates that children receive monetary gifts, also known as “gelt”, on each of the eight nights of the holiday.
Origin & Meaning of Hanukkah
Hanukkah’s religious roots are based in the events that occurred during the rededication of the Holy Temple in 168 BCE. After a conflict that lasted over two years, the Jewish people had retaken the Temple from the Syrian-Greek ruler, Antiochus IV. The Jewish people intended to restore the holy site, which had been contaminated and desecrated by Antiochus, but only found enough pure olive oil left to light the Temple’s Menorah for one night – when it should have lasted at least eight.
Against all odds, the small quantity of oil miraculously kept the Menorah burning for eight nights – not one. It is from this event that the ‘Festival of Lights’ derives its name and its meaning. The single night miracle was, and still is, commemorated today with an 8-day celebration.
Today, Hanukkah is a happy and joyous holiday that celebrates the miracle of perseverance and faith, and brings together family and friends for song and food. The holiday continues to have deep religious and historical significance in the Jewish faith and is celebrated by members of the Jewish diaspora across the world.
Hanukkah is a truly special and meaningful holiday of both reflection and celebration. It is a reminder of the strength and resilience that, through faith, we can all access within ourselves.
- What Is Hanukkah And Why Is It Celebrated?
- What Is Hanukkah And How Is It Celebrated?
- Hanukkah What Is It Celebrating?
- When Is The First Candle Lit For Hanukkah?
- What Day Is Hanukkah Is It?
- What Is The Name Of Potato Pancake That Is Traditionally Prepared To Celebrate Hanukkah?
- When Is The Last Day Of Hanukkah This Year?
- What Is First Day Of Hanukkah?
- What Is A Hanukkah Tradition?
- Today Is What Night Of Hanukkah?
- What Many Days Is Hanukkah Celebrated For?
- What Is The Significance Of Hanukkah?
- What Is The Difference Between Hanukkah And Menorah?
- What Is The Last Day Of Hanukkah Called?
- What Is The Miracle Of The Hanukkah Oil?
Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.