December is here and everyone knows what that means, it means people are going to be celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, and/or Hanukkah. Hanukkah is the eight day festival of lights celebrated by Jewish people. This holiday is celebrated by lighting a menorah, saying special prayers, and eating fried foods. Hanukkah starts on December 22 through December 30. during the tradition of the holiday, it’s common to see fried foods such as the Eastern European potato pancakes decorated with applesauce or sour cream. One common game to see during Hanukkah is spin the dreidel. Players put in some money, spin the dreidel around and whoever it lands on gets all the money placed down. During the 8 day festival, adults often give children gifts of money or gelts which are chocolate coins given out during Hanukkah. The money given to children gives them a chance to give to charity. During Hanukkah the Jewish usually light candles on a menorah to symbolize the universal enlightenment in eight days. For each day that passes during Hanukkah, someone lights one more candle.
But, how did Hanukkah start and how were its early years? According to Britanica.com, “The celebration of Hanukkah was instituted by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. to celebrate his victory over Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The king who tried invading Judaca and tried to Hellenize the Jewish and desecrated the Second Temple in Jururusalum.” When they went to light the menorah, they didn’t have enough oil that wasn’t taken by the Greek. Surprisingly, they were able to light the entire menorah with the one day supply of olive oil. Hanukkah is a unique holiday to look at from people who don’t celebrate the holiday. The holiday continues to be one of the most popular holidays in Jewish religion.
By: Daniel Garcia
Photo Credits: https://www.friendsinadoption.org/