Hanukkah

When is it celebrated?

It starts the 25th of Kislev, a month in the Hebrew calendar, which happens between November and December, and lasts for 8 days.

Who celebrates it?

It is celebrated worldwide by those who practice Judaism.

Where does it originate from?

Hanukkah celebrates the defeat of the Syrian Greeks by the Maccabees in 165 BCE.  At the time, the Greeks were in control and forced the Jewish people to adopt their customs and beliefs.  A small group of Jewish warriors called the Maccabees (meaning “hammer), fought back and after a long battle defeated the Greeks.  After the battle, the Maccabees restored their temple that had been destroyed. In the process, they only found enough oil to light their menorah for one day, but it ended up lasting 8 days.  Hanukkah is the celebration of these miracles.

Symbols/Traditions:

  • Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.
  • Menorah: a candelabra that has 9 candles, with one being higher in the middle.  The middle one, or Shamash is used to light the rest. Every day a new candle is lit.
  • Playing dreidel, singing songs, praying
  • Eating latkes, donuts, and other oil-based foods
  • Decorating with fresh evergreen and the Star of David
  • The colors blue and silver
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