The Story and Traditions of Hanukkah

Hanukkah also known as the Jewish light’s festival, is an 8-day holiday celebrated by Jewish people.

A Hanukkah menorah

The story begins during the time 165 BCE, the Greek king Antiochus tried forcing the people into acting like Greeks, the Jews of course were angry, and weren’t going to listen to King Antiochus. King Antiochus wasn’t happy with the Jews decision, Antiochus punished the Jews by ruining the temple in Jerusalem and threating anyone who stood against him, and this of course started a war. The Jews who fought were known as the Maccabees, eventually after a long war the Jews won, and so the first thing they did was fix up their temple.

So why does Hanukkah last for 8 days? Well, every temple has an enteral light, a light that never is supposed to go out, and the eternal light in the Jews temple was almost out! These lights were kept on by oil, the Jews kept a closet full on oil supply for these lights but of course when they opened the door the oil jugs were smashed! Luckily, they were able to find a tiny pint of oil that would only last about one day, and the process of making oil took 8 days. So, the Jews used up their pint of oil and prayed for the next 8 days their light would still shine. A miracle happened; the light never went out.

One important thing Jews do to celebrate is have out a menorah. A menorah is a candle with 9 branches, 1 candle for each day including the Shamash. The tradition is each day around nightfall one candle on the branch is lit and placed by a window.

Some other fun traditions people enjoy doing for Hanukkah are trading gifts, enjoying Hanukkah music, and eating delicious fried food.

Read more about Hanukkah history and traditions on history.com.