What Is Hanukkah
People who are not Jewish may wonder what is Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday held on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. The celebration is based on a period when Antiochus IV ruled and did not allow Jewish people to worship or practice their faith. He had Jewish people killed and had a pig offered in the temple, which is against the Jewish faith.
Story The story of Hanukkah begins when the Jewish people needed oil to burn their menorah in the temple for rededication, but they only had a day's supply left. However, they lit the candles and they burned for eight days. They had a festival that lasted for eight days to celebrate the fact that they had oil when they needed it.
Tradition During the tradition of Hanukkah, candles are placed in a menorah and one candle is lit for each night to commemorate the miracle. Prayers are said when the candles are lit. The Jewish people recite particular blessings per candle. The candles must stay lit for at least a half an hour. The candles are lit and blessed from left to right as a part of the tradition.
Gifts Sometimes people give gifts during Hanukkah, but it is not traditional to do so. Parents give gifts to their children, which is similar to Christmas. It is believed that this gift-giving was added because of the Jewish people's contact with Christians and to appease young children. Some people exchange monetary gifts during the holiday.
Games Some Jewish people play games for the holiday. The games are meant to be gambling games, but people may play for candy or some other tokens.