Happy Hanukkah, which started today at sundown. Some people refer to this time as the “Festival of Light”—I like to call it the celebration of the “Miracle of the Oil”, because it truly was a miracle from God
Hanukkah is an eight day and night Jewish festival to celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, which took place in the 2nd century B.C. The Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV had tried to force Greek culture on the Jews in Judea (Israel).
This rededication of the Holy Temple took place after the Maccabees (Jewish religious rebels) reclaimed the temple. Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for dedication.
Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which can occur any time from late November to late December, depending on the Hebrew calendar. To celebrate Hanukkah, a nine-branch candelabrum called a Menorah, is lit one candle each night until the eighth night--January 1st, this year. The additional branch and light (9th candle) is used to light the other candles.
The celebration lasts for eight days for historical reasons. When the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple, there was enough purified oil to keep the temple lit for only one day. By some miracle, the light burned for eight days.