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Hannukah: Jewish Tradition and It's Meaning

Updated on December 20, 2011

Hannukah: The other holiday in December

Everyone has heard of Hannukah and knows that it is a Jewish Holiday near Christmas, but do most people know what it's all about? If you are Jewish, yes but most people have no clue. I will share the meaning and tradition of Hannukah with you. It is actually a very interesting holiday that lasts 8 days and 8 nights.

In Hebrew, the word "hannukah" literally means dedication. In 168 BC, the Holy Temple was seized by the Syrian Greeks who used as a temple for Zeus. The Hebrew people rededicated the temple after taking it back in 165 BC. The temple was then rededicated to EL Shaddai or God.

Today, the Jews light a mennorah in remembrance of this great victory by celebration for eight days. They light one candle the first day, two the second and so on and so forth until they reach the eighth day.

The use of the menorrah was somewhat of a miracle. After regaining control of the temple, the Jewish people lit a special kind of oil to commemorate this occasion but there was not enough oil to last the eight days. To their suprise and wonder, the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days which was a miracle.

According to Jewish law, Hannukah is one of the lesser holidays to celebrate. In recent years, gifts were added so that their children would not feel left out by Christmas. It is celebrated in late November to late December according to the Hebrew calendar.


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    • Smokes Angel profile image

      Smokes Angel 6 years ago from Broke Alabama

      Thanks for sharing livelonger... I didn't know that.

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 6 years ago from San Francisco

      To answer the Shabbat question: yes, you must observe Shabbat when it occurs during Hanukkah. But since you can't light candles during Shabbat, you have to light the menorah before you light the Shabbat candles and usher in Shabbat.

      There is no seder, since we're not talking about Passover or Tu b'Shvat, the only two holidays that have a seder.

    • Smokes Angel profile image

      Smokes Angel 6 years ago from Broke Alabama

      thanks for the comment

    • Evylyn Rose profile image

      Evylyn Rose 6 years ago from Colorado, USA

      Nice hub; short but informative. I never realized that the gifts were not part of the original traditions. Thanks for sharing!

    • Smokes Angel profile image

      Smokes Angel 6 years ago from Broke Alabama

      Honestly I am not sure. I guess I should look it up huh?

      Thanks for the comment by the way.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Since it spans 8 days, does this mean that they also celebrate sader twice and two sabbaths?