December 24, 2015
|Last Year (2015)||6th Dec (evening ) to 14th Dec (evening )|
|Present Year (2016)||24th Dec (evening ) to 1st Jan (evening )|
|Next Year (2017)||12th Dec (evening ) to 20th Dec (evening )|
Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication
Hanukkah/ Chanukah is said to be 8th Jewish fest which means dedication. It is famous as light festival with menorah lightening, many games, new gifts and yummy traditional foods.
Miracle History behind Hanukkah:
The word Hanukkah came from verb”חנך” (Hebrew) means “to dedicate”, In 200 BC, Israel Lord Judea was under Antiochus III which was Syria’s king and gave permission to Jews to pursue practicing the religion. But, Antiochus (IV) Epiphanes was not kind hearted and commanded Jews to follow and worship Greek God. Mattathias, Jewish priest with his 5 sons stood against monarchy. After the death of Mattathias, Judah Maccabee (son), “the hammer” took his responsibility and Jews got success after 2 years of harsh treat. In this holy success, Judah ordered to reconstruct second Jerusalem temple in which gold candelabrum with 7 branches (known as Chanukiah/Hanukiah) was kept which is symbol of knowledge and creativity. It has been believed that olive oil which was signet ring sealed y High priest kept in menorah’s candles burnt for not for single day but by God Grace burnt for 8 nights which made Jews to celebrate this fest for 8 days with rededication to honour this miracle.. This lightening of candelabrum is like Hillel’s house as Jews accepted the proposal of Hillel who said to light the first candle first then proceeding o next ne as miracles grew everyday.
Celebrations with tradition:
The basic tradition is to candles are progressing to menorh and at the 9th candle (shamash meaning attendant) is made to lighten the other ones. First night of fest, one candle is lit from the right sided menorah following the next one. With this, foods are cooked in oil. Some traditional dishes are latkes (Potato pancakes), sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and Sephardic Bimuelos. This fest also includes the dreidels (game) and giving gifts like books. Hanukkhan gelt (small amount of money) is presented to children with singing Chanukkah music.