Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday that celebrates how a small group of Jews fought off powerful armies to protect their beliefs and to take back control of their homeland. One part of the festival is the lighting of eight special candles, which is repeated over the eight days. But why are these days so significant and why is Hanukkah celebrated for eight days?
The story of Hanukkah starts with a Jewish uprising against the Seleucid Empire in 168 BCE. The Maccabees (the Jewish rebels) defeated the Seleucids and were able to take back Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. However, when they entered the temple, they were only able to find enough consecrated oil to light the temple menorah for only one day – but miraculously it lasted for eight days! This miracle of the oil is the reason why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days.
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The Rituals and Traditions
The eight days of Hanukkah are divided into two parts: Nesiyat Yadayim, which is the lighting of the candles, and Pirsum Ha-Ne’imah, which is the recitation of blessings and praise. The first night of Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting one candle; each subsequent night, an extra candle is lit until all eight candles are burning on the eighth night.
The centerpiece of the celebration is the menorah, which is a seven-branched candelabrum with a holder for nine candles. On the first night, the first candle (called the ‘shamash’ or ‘servant’) is lit, and then the remaining eight candles are lit, one at a time, on each night of the holiday. On the final night, all nine candles are lit.
Foods of Hanukkah
The delicious foods of Hanukkah are a big part of the festival. Many Jewish families will eat traditional foods that represent the miracle of the oil, such as sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancakes). The sufganiyot and latkes are fried in oil, as a reminder of the miracle.
Gifts and Games
It is also traditional for Jewish families to give gifts and play games on Hanukkah. The most popular game is called dreidel, which is a spinning top with Hebrew letters on each side. Players take turns spinning the dreidel and collecting coins or items according to which letter they land on.
Hanukkah is an important festival for Jews around the world, and is celebrated for eight days to honor the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days. Every night of the holiday, Jews around the world will light the menorah, eat special treats, and exchange gifts. Hanukkah is an important time of celebration for the Jewish faith, one that is full of rich traditions and delicious foods.
- Why Is Hanukkah 8 Days Long?
- How Many Days Long Is Hanukkah?
- Why Is Hanukkah Celebrated For 8 Days?
- Why Is Hanukkah 9 Days?
- Why Is Hanukkah 8 Days?
- Why Is Hanukkah On Different Days Every Year?
- Why Is Hanukkah Celebrated On Different Days?
- What Is Hanukkah Celebration About?
- What Is Hanukkah And Why Is It Celebrated?
- When Does Hanukkah Start And How Long Is It Celebrated?
- Why Is Hanukkah Different Days Each Year?
- Why Do We Celebrate Hanukkah For 8 Days?
- How Long Is Hanukkah Celebrated For?
- Hanukkah Is The Celebration Of The Maccabean Revolt Under Whose Occupation?
- Why Does Hanukkah Last 8 Days?
Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.