Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The eight-day celebration which is also known as Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. As per the Gregorian calendar, the day falls either in the month of November or December. Hanukkah means ‘dedication’ in Hebrew and will begin on the evening of December 2 (Sunday) and end on the evening of December 10 (Monday).
It is also called the 'Festival of Lights' and is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah (seven-lamp ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold), preparation of traditional foods and more. Below we tell you the significance of celebrating Hanukkah and the traditions observed. Hanukkah 2018 Wishes: WhatsApp Messages & Stickers, GIF Images, SMS, Facebook Status & Happy Hanukkah Photos to Wish on The Jewish Festival of Lights.
According to legends, Jews had risen against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. The story is of the Maccabees, an army of rebels in Israel who revolted against the Seleucid Greek King Antiochus, who was trying to kill all the Jewish people. The rebellion was led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his five sons. After Matthathias died, his son Judah took the helm and within two years the Jews had successfully driven the Syrians out of Jerusalem. Judah later asked his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah. The gold candelabrum’s seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night.
The Hanukkah Miracle
When the Maccabees and other followers recaptured the temple, they discovered that there was only enough oil left to keep the holy light for one more day. However, miraculously the flames continued flickering for eight nights, which was long enough for them to make another batch of oil. The miracle is celebrated with a traditional ‘lighting candles for eight days’ during the festival.
The celebrations include lighting of menorah and families give presents to one another. On each of the eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sunset and the ninth candle called the ‘shamash’ is used to light the others. Jews recite blessings and as a part of the ritual display the menorah in their window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday. Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Dedication. The traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil and the food items include Latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts) that are popular in many Jewish homes.