Hanukkah is a Jewish festival, celebrated around November- December every year. Read to explore some fun facts & trivia on Chanukah.
Hanukkah is an important festival of the Jews. Every year, they wait eagerly for it to begin. It starts on the 25th day of the third month (Kislev) of Jewish calendar. According to the Georgian calendar, the festival is celebrated in the month of November-December. The holiday celebrates the events that took place over 2,300 years ago in the land of Judea, which is now Israel. It is a festival that serves as a reminder of the past and brings hope for a bright future. Chanukah reminds Jewish people of strife and conflict that their ancestors had faced in the past. However, it is also a time for rejoice, to celebrate the freedom of Jews and the victory of the Maccabees army, over the Hellenistic Syrians. Read on to explore some more interesting and fun facts about Hanukkah.
- Chanukah can fall anytime between the middle of November and beginning of January. The exact dates are decided according to the Jewish calendar, which is Lunar-based. The 8-day holiday starts on 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.
- The term ‘Chanukah’ stands for dedication in Hebrew and recalls the Maccabees' rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after they won the battle with the Greeks, for control over their holy site.
- The candles used for lighting Hanukah Menorah are supposed to burn for at least half an hour after the stars come out.
- Placing the menorah in a window, to share the miracle and the celebration with passers bys, is considered to be a very important tradition of the festival.
- The festival of Hanukkah has become more commercial with the giving of gifts, due to its proximity to Christmas. Earlier giving gifts was not a part of its tradition.
- The principal event of the holiday, the battle between the Maccabees and the Greeks, is post-Biblical. Chanukah story is not written about in the Torah. It happened several hundred years after the Torah is believed to have been given to the Jewish people, on Mount Sinai.
- The nine-branched candelabrum used on a Chanukah is a misnomer; it is actually called a chanukiah. The menorah is actually a seven-branched candelabrum.
- Chanukah begins four days before the new moon, which is the darkest night of the Kislev month. The month is close to the winter solstice, which is the longest and darkest month of the year. Like many other faiths, the Jewish holiday of Chanukah brings light in the darkest time of the year.
- For most of its history, Hanukkah was a minor holiday. It gained popularity in the late 1800s, eventually becoming one of the most celebrated Jewish holidays in the calendar.
- It takes 44 candles all together to observe all the eight nights of the Chanukah festival.
- Some people claim that the dreidel game originated when Jewish children were not allowed to study Torah. If an official came along, they would quickly pull out these toys and appear to just be playing a game.