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Amazing and Fun Facts about Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights

Hanukkah, a literal translation likewise romanized as Chanukah or Ḥanukah, is a Jewish festival honoring the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is otherwise called the Festival of Lights. In 2020, Hanukkah starts at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 10, and ends at sundown on Friday, Dec. 18. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Hanukkah or Chanukah you need to know.

20 Amazing and Fun Facts about Hanukkah

  1. The holiday recognizes the rededication of the old Jewish Temple in Jerusalem after a small Jewish army called the Maccabees recovered it from the Greek leader Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 164 BCE.
  1. The holiday recognizes the victory of a band of rebel Jews known as the Maccabees in recovering their temple from the Greek-Syrians.
  1. The temple required a holy light to burn inside at all times, yet the Jews had just enough oil for one night. Staggeringly, the light burned for eight days.
  1. Since the Hebrew calendar is lunisolar, Hanukkah isn’t on a similar date each year. The celebration always starts on the 25th of Kislev, which means it regularly falls in November or December of the Gregorian calendar — a similar season as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  1. Hanukkah lasts for eight nights, to honor how long the holy light burned. Hanukkah goes on for eight days, and it’s likewise called the Festival of Lights since when the Maccabees relit the menorah at the Second Temple, they thought they just had enough oil for the lights to keep going for one night, however, they phenomenally burned for eight nights.
  1. Hanukkah, while generally noticed, particularly in the U.S., isn’t what the Jewish religion terms a major holiday. Nonetheless, a few Rabbis argue that the main explanation it’s a “minor” holiday is because this holiday doesn’t need significant limitations on individuals’ behavior and dietary patterns. These significant holidays incorporate Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.
  1. There are really nine candles on the Menorah, (likewise referred to as Hanukiah) even though there are just eight days of Hanukkah. The ninth light is known as the “shammus,” and should be at a different height in comparison to the others. This candle is lit first and used to light different candles.
  1. A Menorah is a candelabra with nine candles. Four on either side and a candle in the center proposed to light all the others. This is known as the shamash and it sits higher than (or somehow separated from) different candles.
  1. It used to be custom for individuals to offer cash to each other for Hanukkah. In any case, as Christmas became more well known, increasingly more Jewish individuals started giving gifts instead.
  1. On the first night of Hanukkah, we say three blessings as the lights are burned; from that point onward, we just present two for the leftover seven nights.
  1. Latkes, sufganiyot (jam doughnuts), apple fritters, kugel-when you think about the food served at Hanukkah the vast majority of them are fried. This isn’t a coincidence, individuals fry their food in oil for Hanukkah as a symbol for the miracle oil that burned for eight nights straight.
  1. Hanukkah isn’t the most important Jewish holiday. Jewish holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashanah are in reality substantially more significant to the religion.
  1. Harry Truman was the first president to observe Hanukkah at the White House. In 1951, he acknowledged a Menorah as a gift from the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.
  1. In English, that is. In Hebrew, it’s “חנוכה”— yet since Hanukkah is a Hebrew word, and Hebrew can’t be spelled with English letters, there is no standard English spelling. All things considered, it is spelled phonetically, which is open to interpretation. For example, while we are using “Hanukkah,” it’s entirely fine to spell it “Hanukah” or “Hannukkah” or “Chanukah” or “Chanuka”… you get the point.
  1. You may have seen the holiday spelled like Hanukkah, Hannuka, or Chanukah… the list goes on. The most well-known form is Hanukkah, however, the entirety of the spellings are really accurate. Since there is no right method to straightforwardly interpret the Hebrew sounds to English, it very well may be spelled a wide range of ways, each similarly right.
  1. Over 17.5 million jam donuts are consumed in Israel all through Hanukkah. To celebrate the supernatural occurrence of the oil lasting eight days, a large number of the holiday’s festive foods are prepared in oil, especially: the family’s most loved sufganiyot (or jam donuts).
  1. “Hanukkah” comes from the Hebrew word “Hinuch,” or “to teach.” Jews follow a custom of boosting their kids to learn Torah on this holiday by gifting them gelt, or golden-wrapped chocolates that look like coins. Gelt can likewise be won in a game of Dreidel!
  1. Hanukkah is one of the few Jewish holidays not referenced in the Five Books of Moses. Or maybe, the narrative of how Hanukkah came to be celebrated is contained within Books 1 and 2 of Maccabees, which is essential for a different set of texts called the Apocrypha.
  1. Dreidels, turning tops with Hebrew letters on them used to play a Hanukkah game, contain various letters relying upon where you are in the world.
  1. Even though gifts are more famous today, cash or “gelt” is the traditional gift of Hanukkah. A few people say that as a result of the ascent in prevalence of Christmas gifts, more Jewish individuals pick gifts instead, as well.
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