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Hanukkah FAQ

What is the origin of Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is the celebration of the re-dedication of the alter after the defeat of the Seleucid Empire. Luckily, a small flask of olive oil was found and used on the eternal flame, but only had enough to last one day. Because of a miracle, the flame lasted eight days instead of one which allowed more oil to be pressed and consecrated to allow the flame to last longer.

What do the eight days of Hanukkah represent?

The eight days represent the miracle of the container of oil. After the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, the length of time it took to press and consecrate fresh olive oil allowing the flame to continue to burn.

Where in the world is Hanukkah celebrated?

Hanukkah is celebrated everywhere Judaism is practiced. The largest population of Jews exists in Israel (41% of the total Jewish population) and USA (40% of the total Jewish population). Nonetheless, Jews are spread throughout the entire world and celebrate this holiday wherever they are.

When is the first night of Hanukkah?

Hanukkah (also known as Chanukah) begins on the 25th of Kislev. How long is Hanukkah celebrated?

Since Kislev has either 29 or 30 days, depending on the year, it concludes on the 2nd or 3rd day of Tevet. This is a total of eight days.

What foods are eaten during Hanukkah?

The most popular foods eaten on Hanukkah are fried or baked foods in oil to celebrate the small flask of olive oil used for the eternal flame. Potato pancakes, known as latkes, are particularly associated with Hanukkah since they are traditionally fried in oil. As well, jam-filled donuts are a tradition in many Jewish families.

What year was Hanukkah first celebrated?

The first celebration of Hanukkah occurred in the 2nd century BCE.

How is Hanukkah celebrated?

It is celebrated by the lighting of one light each night with an extra light lit each night used to light the others. It has also been common in recent years for parents to use the day as a "Jewish Christmas" and give their children a present for each day.

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