The Festival of Lights, also known as Hanukkah, is an annual Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights in the winter months of the Jewish calendar. Hanukkah, which is an eight-day-long celebration of the miracle of the Maccabees’ rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC, is celebrated each year with large public gatherings, religious services, gift-giving, and lighting of the Menorah. Every year, on this special occasion, Jewish families around the world come together to celebrate and remember the miracle of the Hanukkah lights.
How Many Days Is Hanukkah Celebrated For?
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated for eight days and nights. This Jewish holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC. It is the most celebrated Jewish holiday and it begins on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev. It generally falls between the end of November and the beginning of December, but the exact date changes from year to year.
Significance and Origin of Hanukkah
Hanukkah celebrates the Maccabees’ successful revolt against the Syrian-Greeks, who attempted to force the Jewish people to give up their religion and break the Sabbath. Initially, it was a one-day festival, but soon evolved into an eight-day celebration, known as the Festival of Lights. As long as the Hanukkah lightsburn brighter than ever, the Jewish people are reminded of the miracle of the small amount of oil that kept the Temple’s menorah burning for eight days and nights.
Rituals and Customs of Hanukkah
Each night during Hanukkah, Jews light the menorah or Hanukkiah (a candelabra with nine branches), say a special blessing, and recite prayers from the Siddur, or Jewish prayerbook. They give presents to their children, receive guests, exchange gifts with family and friends, and play a special game that is similar to roulette with a four-sided top. An important tradition during Hanukkah is the eating of traditional foods like latkes (potato pancakes), sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), and especially chocolate coins.
Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday and a beautiful celebration of faith, tradition, and freedom. Its observance for eight nights helps to spread the light of the miracle of the Hanukkah lights and to keep alive the tradition of the Maccabees. This annual festival of lights is an important part of the Jewish calendar and fosters a strong sense of pride and community among the Jewish people.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.