Happy Hanukkah!

By Meera Dolasia on December 6, 2007

Photo Credit: By 39james [CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons)

Hanukkah - the festival of lights, is celebrated on the 25th day of the month of Kislev, which is based on the Jewish calendar. This year the festival began at sunset on December 4th.

The festival, which celebrates the victories of ancient Jewish heroes, is an eight- day fun-filled event, where families seek out blessings, eat yummy food and play games. In some families, children even receive a gift every night for eight days. Wow!- how cool is that?

Like most religious festivals, this one is also based on the victory of right vs. wrong. About 2,200 years ago a Greek king tried to impose (force) his culture on the people in his territory (area), despite the fact that most of them practiced the Jewish religion. The people rebelled and fought for three years before reclaiming the temple on Jerusalem's Mount Moriah. In the temple they found a small amount of oil, which they thought would light the temple light for one day. However, amazingly enough, the oil lasted for eight days, which is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days.

The lighting of the menorah is the most important tradition of Hanukkah. The menorah (pictured above) is a candleholder with nine branches. Eight candles represent the eight days of Hanukkah and are the same height. The ninth known as the Shamash (servant) is used for lighting the candles. One candle is lit on each day of the festival. Over the years, menorahs have become increasingly fancy.

The most popular game played is the Dreidel, which resembles a spinning top. The most favorite foods are fried foods, in memory of the oil in the temple. While Latkes (potato pancakes) are very popular in the United States, in Israel the favorite food is sufganiyah, a kind of jelly donut cooked in oil.

All in all, it sounds like a fun-filled eight days, just like festivals should be. Happy Hanukkah to all of you, and don't forget to watch the fun video below:

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  • silvermoon33
    silvermoon33Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 4:08 pm
    Well, Randy, the candle on top is considered the Shamash, or the "helper candle." The Shamash lights all the other candles.
    • silvermoon33
      silvermoon33Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 6:51 pm
      I'm Jewish and proud! This is such a fun holiday, and I am so happy that this person decided to share info about it. Jews rock!!!!!!!!
      • billyThursday, December 15, 2016 at 12:41 pm
        • billyThursday, December 15, 2016 at 12:29 pm
          • lolThursday, December 15, 2016 at 12:12 pm
            • lilyWednesday, December 14, 2016 at 11:56 am
              i want a cat
              • BillyThursday, December 10, 2015 at 5:14 am
                I love being jewish
                • BillyThursday, December 10, 2015 at 5:13 am
                  I love being jewish 🇮🇱🇮🇱
                  • BillyThursday, December 10, 2015 at 5:11 am
                    I really like this article because I am Jewish and Jews rock
                    • pb&j adorableThursday, September 27, 2012 at 6:23 pm
                      jews rock !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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