The History of Hanukkah

Hanukkah is the eight-day Jewish holiday called the Festival of Lights. The celebration begins at sundown on December 2nd and lasts until December 10. The holiday typically falls in December before Christmas, but the exact date depends on the Hebrew calendar. According to “Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion.” Families celebrate traditionally with a Menorah which thousands of years ago burned for eight nights. Each night families opens gifts together and eat traditional food like lakes, challah, matzah ball soup and more. It is a time for families to get spend quality time together.  

When lighting the candles, they say a Jewish prayer:

Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu,

melekh ha'olam asher kid'shanu

b'mitzvotav v'tzivanu

l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Translation: "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light[s]." The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand made of pure gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Hanukkah is very important in my family. It makes me proud to be Jewish. I love getting my whole family together to celebrate great memories and giving gifts to the people I care about. Approximately 7.0 million Jews celebrate this year. From my family to yours, Happy Hanukkah!