A very misunderstood holiday...Hanukkah takes place on the 25th of Kislev, the 3rd month on the Jewish calendar. Kislev used to be 100% synonymous with December, but, whereas the modern calendar is solar, the Jewish calendar, like the Old Roman calendar, is lunar. This is why Hanukkah is on different dates in December throughout the years.
In 168 BCE, on the 25th of Kislev, Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria and overlord of Israel, desecrated the Jewish Temple by setting up a statue of Zeus inside, and sacrificing a swine to Zeus. Many Jews were forced to worship the Greek deities, or else be killed. MattithYah Maccabee, and his son Yahudah led a rebellion, and within 3 years regained control of Jerusalem. On the 25th of Kislev, 165 BCE, the Maccabees purified the Temple, and re-dedicated it to the service of Yahweh.
The Purification/Dedication ritual took eight days. There was only enough oil to light the Menorah for 1 day, but, miraculously, it lasted for 8 days. In rememberance of this, the household menorah is lit for eight days, and fried foods, especially pastries, are eaten.
But, Hanukkah is really about religious freedom.
The books of Maccabees are the story of Hanukkah. You can find these in the CATHOLIC versions of the Christian Bible. For some reason, these are not included in Protestant versions.
8 nights of latkes, fried greasy potato pancakes, for dinner, and having to "try" to act excited. It is hard to pretend but I dont want to make my Mom and Dad fell bad. OK, the candles are fun but my mom wont let me play with the matches and is worried the house will burn down if I lite the candles or I might burn my fingers, but really, can't you spare even one magic elf bring us toys too. I am a good boy. Honest.
Dear Santa, do you have any magic Jewish elves to spare around Hanukkah? See my sister says you know Yenta Claus? Is there really such a person or not? Is there really a Hanukkah Harry? Who is this Santa Cohen and are any of them magic elves? Are they really jewish too? Is Yenta Claus real? If that is true ask her not to forget me. Just say I am good and to give me an ipod.
I love you, Thank you Jacob
An low-key but awesome Jewish holiday. Its not all about material objects and commercialism like Christmas.
Hanukkah is fun :)
A wonderful eight night Jewish holiday celebrating the Maccabees victory over the Greco-Syrian forces and the miracle of oil burning for eight days when their was only enough oil to last for one. Its not the Jewish Christmas and it is extremely fun.
Menorah's, dreidels and latkes are popular symbols of Hanukkah but its much deeper than that.
Most of the definitions of Hanukkah on Urban Dictionary are offensive and untrue :)
The best of the minor Jewish holiday! Features delicious latkes and often cheese and wine, dreidel games, the story of the Maccabees victory over the Greco-Syrians, a festival lights and a beautiful menorah, the story of the badass biblical heroine Judith.
Whoever wrote the first two answers are clearly self-hating secular Jews with no attachment to their culture or religion. If they Hanukkah so much then they should just convert and celebrate Christmas.
Real Jewish person - Hanukkah is a beautiful religious and cultural holiday
Fake Jewish person - I'd rather celebrate Christmas
I think Christmas is a beautiful holiday and have nothing against it, but its not something that Jews should partake in.
When something lasts longer then it was intended to
That last bowl was totally hanukkah!!!!
The way too long and somewhat boring winter holiday that really isn't anything other than a weak attempt to apply the least amount of tincture to our children's wounds for not being allowed a Santa Claus at that fercocktenah time of year, comprising the period of the most intense fear mongering and when really close minded and insecure xenophobics worry a kid might for just one day, December 25, rather just be another American kid and get a Master Replica light saber and some weird red and white striped candy from a fat old white guy dressed in red who jets around the world in a reindeer driven sielgh. Oy vey!
"Ok, so what's that about the lump of coal I got for Hanukkah last year?" or "Isn't it enough you cut part of my special friend off?" or "So instead of Toys and elves and magic, all I get to celebrate Hanukkah by having to eat greesy latkes and light candles every single night (8) nights in a row?" or And all this just so my parents can quietly think; "Hey, Busta, aren't we doing a good job making Seth feel better about Santa not visiting with those really pretty Hanukkah cookies and greesy latkes and that really cool story about the Greeks and how Jews found oil to light their candles for a week and a day?" or "I am going to marry that cute gentile Mom and Dad so I can have an excuse to celebrate the other really cool celebration. Hey, admit it, for us kids anyway, Hanukkah can't light a candle to Santa's Toy Time."