Hanukkah (Chanukah)

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When most people think of Jewish holidays, Hanukkah (Chanukah) is the first holiday that comes to mind. In reality, this holiday is not religious and is probably one of the least important Jewish celebrations. Its popularity, no doubt, comes from being so close to the Christian celebration of Christmas on the calendar. Regardless, many Jewish people enjoy celebrating this holiday. Likewise, many non-Jewish people celebrate this holiday, as well, since it is regarded as being part of the holiday season. In this article, you will learn a little about the history behind Hanukkah, as well as popular ways in which the holiday is celebrated.

The story of Hanukkah (Chanukah) began hundreds and hundreds of years ago when Jewish people were living under the reign of the Greeks who desecrated their temple and restricting the practice of their faith. The Jewish people rebelled against the Greeks and were successful, so they were able to rededicate their temple. When they were rededicating their temple, the Jewish people found that they were out of oil. There was only enough oil left for burning their candles, or menorahs, for one day. The candles, however, burned for eight days. Hanukkah then is a celebration that lasts for eight days.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) is celebrated by setting eight candles in the menorah, one candle for each night of the celebration. There is a ninth candle that is used for lighting the eight candles of the celebration. Many Jews will also eat fried foods, since a great part of the holiday is the miracle of the oil. Latkes, which are potato pancakes, are a popular fried food. Playing dreidel is another popular Hanukkah tradition. A dreidel is a square top. If you want to learn the official rules for playing the dreidel game, then you can find this information by doing a simple search online.

While Hanukkah (Chanukah) is not an important religious holiday to the Jewish people, it is still celebrated by many. There is often gift-giving over the course of this eight-day holiday. While this is not a traditional part of the celebration, it’s a fun way for Jewish parents to celebrate with their children so they don’t feel left out while their friends from the Christian tradition get presents from Santa. Even though this popular Jewish celebration is not mentioned anywhere in the official scripture, it includes many festive modern traditions. It is also a great way to learn about some important episodes in the history of the Jewish people.

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Posted by on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010. Filed under Jewish Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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