Chanukah is one of the most enjoyable Jewish holidays. It’s a time when families and friends gather to celebrate the miracle that occurred over 2,000 years ago. If you’re unfamiliar with Chanukah, here’s what you need to know. What is Chanukah about? Chanukah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the second temple in Jerusalem. In Hebrew, this eight-day festival is called “chanukah” or “chanuka.” It’s also known as the Festival of Lights because it begins on the 25th day of Kislev (which falls between November and December on our Gregorian calendar), and lasts for eight days—one day per night.
Chanukah takes place during wintertime and commemorates an ancient battle against Greek rule led by Judas Maccabeus around 165 BCE. The story goes that there was once a group of Jewish warriors called Maccabees who fought against King Antiochus IV Epiphanes for control over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, but with limited success: after defeating him, they were unable to take back all their land from his forces; instead they settled for taking back Jerusalem itself from his control. The Maccabees did not have enough oil to light their menorah (or lamp stand) every night throughout Hanukkah; however when they found out about this problem through a miracle, one jar full of oil lasted for eight days—and thus started an annual tradition celebrated today by lighting candles every night until Hanukkah ends!
You may already know about Chanukah, even if you’re not Jewish. It’s the eight-day festival that begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends on the second night of Shabbat. The festival celebrates the victory of Jewish rebels over Greek oppression in 165 BCE and their rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem—a historical event that took place 2,000 years ago. But did you know that all Chanukiahs are not created equal? Most are crafted from olive or olive oil–based metal (the type used depends on which school of thought you follow), but there are some made from silver, gold or ceramic—all meant to symbolize light shining through darkness. In fact, each night during this holiday we light our own personal Chanukiahs as part of our traditional candle lighting ceremony!
Chanukah is the celebration of an ancient Jewish holiday that marks the triumph of a small band of Maccabees over their Greek oppressors. It’s also known as Hanukkah, Channukah or Chanukah—all names for the same Jewish holiday that takes place around December in some countries (November in Israel).