Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights is called the commemoration of the miracle of the oil. Each day, one kindles the Hanukkah lights of a special candelabrum, the Menorah which has nine branches, and does this once each day for eight days (December 11th to December 19th), increasing the number of lights each evening. So for this time before sundown we kindle one light. (In the Jewish calendar the day begins at night, then starts the 1st day of Hanukkah.)

The ritual celebrates the victorious battle of the Jewish rebel army the Maccabees over the supposedly much superior Syrians in 165 B.C. and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (By the way, there are many variations of this history, so chime in with any variation, if you please.)

One lights a menorah, exchanges gifts, and has food cooked in oil.

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