Hanukkah in 2014 begins Dec. 16th and ends Dec. 24th. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rebuilding of the holy temple, called the Second Temple.
The holiday usually occurs around the Christian holiday of Christmas. It originated in Jewish communities in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.E. It is celebrated for eight days, with the lighting of one candle on a menorah each night. Other practices include reciting prayers, singing songs, playing games and sharing foods fried in oil with friends and family. Hanukkah appears in the books of the First and Second Maccabees, which are considered Jewish apocrypha.