What Are Some Facts About Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, is an 8-day Jewish celebration in December. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the holy temple during the Maccabean Revolt of the second century. The celebration revolves around the lighting of eight candles on a candelabrum, known as a menorah.

The eight candles stand for the 8 days that 1 day's supply of oil lasted during the revolt to give light to a candle. During the holiday, children often receive one gift on every night of the 8 days. Many foods are cooked in oil to celebrate in respect of the oil that kept the candles burning during the revolt. In Jewish culture, the holiday is actually relatively minor, but it became a big deal in media due to its closeness in date to Christmas, the Christian holiday.

A big part of the holiday is the dreidel, a spinning top toy. The toy actually has a very significant meaning, as it was used when the Syrians took over and banned the study of the Torrah. Jewish people would keep one on hand so if that they were caught studying the document, they could claim they had simply used the book as a flat surface for the toy to spin on.