Hanukkah Ends 2021Category:
What Is Hanukkah?
Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah) is an 8-day Jewish festival marking the miraculous victory of the Maccabees, Jewish freedom fighters, over the Seleucidian Greek occupiers in the year 139 BCE. After recapturing Jerusalem’s Holy Temple, which had been converted into a place of idol worship, they searched for pure oil with which to light the Temple menorah. They found just enough to burn for one day, but miraculously it burned for eight days until more oil could be brought.
How is Hanukkah Celebrated?
On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, Jewish people light special menorahs (candelabras), adding another flame each night, until on the eighth night eight flames are burning brightly. The lighting takes place at home, in a doorway or near a window, and is performed after brief blessings are recited.
On Chanukah, it is customary to play with dreidels, tops upon which four Hebrew letters, nun, gimmel, hay, and shin, are written.
In modern times, communal menorah lightings are often held in public squares, sharing Chanukah’s message of the triumph of light over darkness and freedom to worship G‑d.
To commemorate the miracle, which involved oil, oily foods are enjoyed on Chanukah. Since the Middle Ages, doughnuts (sufganiyot) have been a Chanukah favorite. Among Ashkenazim, potato pancakes (latkes) are also a classic. It is also customary to eat dairy on Chanukah, recalling how the brave Yehudit served cheese and wine to a Greek general before defeating him.