Welcome to Hanukkah!
Hanukkah starts on the 25th day in the Jewish
month of Kislev, and ends on the second day
of Tevet, which can happen in either
November or December. Hanukkah can be
written in two other ways; Hannuka, and
Chanukah, and means dedication. Hanukkah
is also called the festival of lights. To
understand why it is called this, you have to
go back in time about 2,000 years. During
this time, Antiochus became ruler of
Jerusalem. He forbid the Jews from
worshipping their god at the temple, and
then he converted the temple so that
people could worship the Greek god Zeus.
The high priest, Mattathias, and his five
sons fought bravely against the king's
soldiers and won back the temple.
Everyone wanted to light the menorah,
which is a candle holder. They searched
the temple, but only one small jar of oil was found, only enough for one day. Miraculously, the menorah burned for 8 days! By that time, they had made up another batch of oil. Today, the Jewish light one candle of the menorah for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, and remember the brave Jews who drove the king's men out of their temple. A menorah can hold nine candles, eight for all the days of Hanukkah, and one that is used to light the others. Family members exchange presents on each of the eight nights, and everyone eats foods that are cooked in oil to remember the small jar of oil that burned for so long.