Close this search box.

Hanukkah stands out amongst religious holidays celebrated worldwide as striking and fascinating, rich with traditions and history. Hanukkah is celebrated worldwide by Jews, commemorating a significant historical event: the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. After 70 years, few know about its customs or celebration. Here, we explore their meaning, festivals, and meaning of Hanukkah in depth!

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated annually by Jews worldwide.

It generally falls during Kislev (which coincides with November or December). Since Hanukkah follows lunar calendar cycles, exact dates can differ each year. 2023 Hanukkah begins on December 18th and concludes on December 26th.

One of the central symbols of the holiday is the menorah. A candelabrum with eight branches represents each night of celebration. One candle is added each night until, on day 8, everything has been fully lit up! Additionally, on that final night, a ninth-day candle, called the “shamash,” serves to light all other lights within.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple. Judah Maccabee’s Jewish army liberated it from Syrian-Greek during the second century BCE. With only enough pure oil found to last one day but miraculously surviving eight. Therefore, Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated over eight days.

At Hanukkah, certain foods are forbidden, such as chametz (leavened grains, bread, or dough that has been leavened for over 18 minutes). Instead, Jews often consume latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (deep-fried jelly donuts). Among other traditional treats, to mark this eventful time of celebration.

Tradition dictates that Jews refrain from working during the holiday’s first and final days. Instead, Jews light candles, share meals, and sing Hanukkah songs together while spinning the dreidel – an 8-sided spinning top game featuring Hebrew letters on each side – is also popular during this week-long festival.

Hanukkah has long been celebrated with joy and significance across generations of Jews worldwide. By lighting the menorah, eating traditional foods, sharing stories, playing games – and exchanging gifts during its celebration – Jews worldwide unite and enjoy commemorating this holiday that holds special meaning for them all. With festive decorations like colorful lights and feasting activities taking place all across this global festival of their faith, Hanukkah remains a time for warm celebration, hope, and blessings!