Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday that celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks, the re-dedication of the Holy Temple, and the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 days. While this is a well-known fact, many people are left to wonder why Hanukkah has 9 candles and not 8 or any other number.
The nine candles of Hanukkah are known as the Menorah and it is lit throughout the 8 nights of the holiday. The tradition of lighting the Menorah originated from the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days and nights to light the Holy Temple’s sacred Menorah. To commemorate the miracle of this oil, it is customary to light the Chanukah Candles each night of the celebration.
To ensure that these candles would be lit each night, after the first candle, a helper candle called the Shamash is placed higher or to the side from the other candles. This candle is lit first and then used to light the additional eight candles for each night of the holiday.
When it comes to the exact number of candles lit, it depends on the customs of each family. Some may light all eight candles on the first night, some may light two for the first night and then add one additional candle each following night, and some may start with all eight candles and then take away one for each night.
To sum it up, the reason why Hanukkah has 9 candles is to commemorate the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 nights to light the menorah in the Holy Temple. It is also a reminder of the Macabees who fought for independence from the Syrian Greeks. Hanukkah is a joyous and spiritual holiday with traditions that are special to the Jewish people and help strengthen the powerful bond of Judaism.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.