All About the Jewish Holiday Hanukkah

Hanukkah refers to the Jewish Festival of lights. It also remembers re-dedication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Generally, this happened in 160s before the Christ was born. The word Hanukkah is Aramaic and Hebrew word for dedication. The celebration goes on for eight days. It starts on 25th of Kislev a month in the Jewish calendar, which occurs similarly as December. This is because the Jewish calendar is lunar. However, Kislev can take place from November to December.


In this year (2018), Hanukkah will take place from Sunday evening of 2 December, up to Monday evening of 10 December. Quite often is referred to as the festival of lights. The holiday is normally celebrated by lighting the menorah, games, traditional foods, and gifts.


History about Hanukkah


The activities that inspired Hanukkah festival happened during a turbulent phase of the Jewish history. That was around 2oo before Christ was born in Judea. It is also known to be the Israel land. It became under the authority of Antiochus III, the king of Syria that allowed the Jews that lived there to practice their religion.


His son Antiochus IV Epiphanes showed less concerned. He outlawed the religion and thereafter ordered Jews to practice the worship of Greek gods. In 168 before Christ, all his soldiers raided Jerusalem, killed many people, and destroyed the holy temple. However, the Jewish rose successfully against the Syrian authority. They mainly used the guerrilla warfare. They then cleansed the temple, reconstructed the altar, and light its menorah.


Hanukkah Miracle. Concerning Talmud, the Judaism central writings, Judah Maccabee together with the other Jews that took part to rededicate the second temple, witnessed a miracle. Although there was sufficient untainted olive oil for keeping menorah candles burning just for a day, the flames kept on flickering eight nights, giving them good time to get more oil. This miraculous event made the Jews to establish annual eight-day festival.


Hanukkah Traditions. Generally, the Hanukkah celebrations revolve within kindling a nine-branched menorah. In Hebrew, it is known as Hanukkah. During this ritual, all the Jews recite blessings. They also display a menorah in a window, to remind others about the miracles that lead to the holiday.


In another citation of Hanukkah miracle, the traditional Hanukkah food is fried using the oil. The potatoes pancake and jam donuts are quite common in the Jewish homes. In recent days, more so in North America, the Hanukkah festival has become one of the major commercial holiday. This is because it falls close to Christmas. in regard to religion point of view, it only remains as a minor holiday, which has no restrictions to attending the school, working, or having other activities. And while it’s not required to bring a gift, you can always bring DIY natural lip gloss for your family members during this get together. 


Theories on Eight Nights.  Generally, there are many theories behind Hanukkah being celebrated for eight nights. Most commonly is because when Judah went to the temple together with his followers, there was only sufficient oil for one night. However, candles burnt for eight days. On the other hand, it is because they came across eight spears, which they had to put candles on them to light up the temple.