Hanukkah (also known as Chanukah), the Festival of Lights, is one of the most popular Jewish holidays, celebrated by nearly two-thirds of American Jews and more than 15 million people worldwide each year. The holiday takes place over eight days, beginning on the 25th day of Kislev and ending on the 2nd day of Tevet. But what’s the history behind this holiday? And why do we light menorahs during Hanukkah?
At Sponge & Sparkle, we embrace diversity and want to use our platform as a professional cleaning service to heighten cultural awareness in our community of Atlanta, Georgia and beyond. Here are 8 facts to give you the rundown about Hanukkah, which will help you learn and celebrate!
1) What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and typically lasts for eight nights. During this time, Jews light candles each night to remember the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days. They also exchange gifts, eat fried foods, and play games.
2) When is it celebrated?
Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev, which typically falls in December. The holiday commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greeks and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. A candelabrum called a menorah with eight lights is lit for eight days, one light per night. A small amount of oil was only enough for one night but miraculously it lasted for eight nights when only enough oil was used each time to fuel one flame. For this reason, candles are lit each night during the festival as a reminder that miracles can happen and they happen every day.
3) How long does it last?
Hanukkah is an eight-day holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Each day of Hanukkah, a candle is lit in the nine-branched menorah, adding one more light until all eight are burning brightly. Here are the top eight facts you need to know about this joyous holiday:
1. The holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights.
2. It celebrates the miraculous victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks who had banned Judaism and defiled the Holy Temple.
3. The Maccabees were a small group of Jewish warriors who were greatly outnumbered by their enemies.
4) Why do we light candles?
On Hanukkah, Jews around the world celebrate the miracle of the oil. According to the Talmud, when the Maccabees redeemed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after defeating the Greeks, they found only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, that small amount of oil lasted for eight days. To commemorate this event, we light candles each night of Hanukkah.
5) Who are the Maccabees?
The Maccabees were a Jewish rebel army who fought against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. They successfully ousted the Greeks and regained control of Jerusalem, which had been under Greek rule. The holiday of Hanukkah commemorates this victory and the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. It values hard work, dedication and rekindling hopes.
6) Other fun facts about Hanukkah
1. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights and lasts for eight nights.
2. It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 BCE.
3. During Hanukkah, Jews celebrate by lighting candles each night, eating traditional foods like latkes and sufganiyot, and playing games such as dreidel.
4. The menorah, or nine-branched candelabra, is a symbol of Hanukkah and is usually placed in a window so that it can be seen by passersby.
5. The holiday is also a time for giving gifts, particularly to children.
6. Blue and white are the celebratory colors, as they are often mentioned in Jewish religious texts.
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