Chanukah or Hanukkah 

Chanukah, or Hanukkah, lasts for eight days, beginning the 25th of the Hebrew month Kislev (November or December). It celebrates the victory of Judah the Maccabee over the Syrian tyrant Antiochus over 2100 years ago.

Chanukah is observed between the middle of November and beginning of January. The exact dates are decided according to the Jewish calendar, which is Lunar-based. The eight-day holiday starts on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.

The term ‘Chanukah’ translates to dedication in Hebrew and references the Maccabees' rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, after the Maccabees won a battle with the Greeks, for control over their holy site.

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.
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 nine-branched candelabrum used on a Chanukah is a misnomer, it is actually called a chanukiah. The menorah is actually a seven-branched candelabrum.

Fried foods are associated with the holiday, since it was oil that kept the sacred fire burning. Latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot, sweet jelly- filled doughnuts are two common choices.

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