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Hanukkah Jewish Festival

1. What is Hanukkah Festival?

- Hanukkah is a traditional festival lasting for 8 days of the Jewish people. The festival of Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (the third month of the civil year and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year of the Jewish calendar). Therefore, this date is not fixed, it can be any day between mid-November and the end of December every year. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights.

- Hanukkah in Hebrew means "offering", marking the day the Jewish people regained Jerusalem and the Sacred Temple from the Seleucid kingdom in 168 BC.

- Hanukkah Festival 2021 will start on Sunday night, November 18 and end on Monday night, December 6.

- The festival of Hanukkah is characterized by each Jewish family lighting the candles of a nine-branched candle, called a menorah (or hanukkiah). One branch is usually placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light the remaining eight candles. This unique center candle is called a shamash (Hebrew: שַׁמָּשׁ means "servant"). Each night, one more candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the festival.

2. Traditional activities of Hanukkah

- The most special and important feature of the Hanukkah Candle Light Festival is the 9-branched Menorah candle. On the first day of the festival, the central candle - shamash ("servant") is lit and the first candle is lit. Special blessings are recited to a traditional tune before the menorah is lit, and traditional Jewish songs are sung afterwards.

- Mondays, Tuesdays… to the 8th are all the same, every time a menorah is lit, blessings and songs are resounded in the houses.

- The Menorah candle is lit and placed at the door or window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday. Menorahs are also lit in synagogues and other public places. In recent years, thousands of giant menorahs have sprung up in front of city halls and legislative buildings, as well as in malls and parks around the world.

- Jews will recite the special Hallel prayer daily, and add V'Al HaNissim in their prayers and thanksgivings after meals, to give praise and thanks to God.

3. Traditional food of Hanukkah

- Because the legend of Hanukkah's miracles involves oil, the traditional dish of this Candlelight Festival also often includes fried foods. Potato cakes (called latkes) garnished with apple sauce or sour cream and jam donuts (sufganiyot) are especially popular in many Jewish households.

Source : Internet