Hanukkah, otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday that has celebrated in the fall or winter months, and observed with a special ritual of lighting candles on the menorah. It is a time to come together in joy to increase awareness, knowledge and appreciation of the holiday.
It is a joyous holiday that marks a major triumph of the Jews. The celebration of Hanukkah remembers the victory of the Maccabees against the Syrian-Greeks over 2,100 years ago. The story is recounted in the Books of the Maccabees in the Apocrypha. The Maccabees were a Jewish family from the tribe of Levi who led the revolt against the oppressive Syrian-Greeks, and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
When the Temple was rededicated, there was only enough oil to light the candelabra for one night. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight nights – hence, the period of time to celebrate and rejoice. This is the reason why the menorah is lit each night during the holiday of Hanukkah.
The Hanukkah miracle is celebrated by playing dreidel, a four sided spinning top with Hebrew letters on each side, and by giving children gifts of money. On each night of Hanukkah, one candle of the menorah is lit until all eight branches of the menorah are gleaming brightly.
Hanukkah is also a time for reflection on the resilience and strength of the Jewish people, as well as on the victory of light over darkness, freedom over oppression, and hope over despair. Each night of Hanukkah, the menorah has one more light until it is fully aglow. The light of the menorah is a reminder of the miracles that happened to the Jewish people many centuries ago – and of the miracles that could still happen today.
Hanukkah is a joyous and festive holiday that celebrates the freedom and independence of the Jewish people and the special miracle that took place long ago. Each night of Hanukkah, friends and family come together to pray and remember the courage and strength of the Maccabees, and to reaffirm the power of faith and togetherness.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.