Hanukkah Quick Facts - IT

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2023 Date15 December 2023

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Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. The observance honors the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days, even though there was only enough for one day. Central to this celebration are the lighting of the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating oil-based foods such as latkes and sufganiyot, and participating in family and community gatherings.

The history of Hanukkah dates back to 165 B.C.E., when the Jewish people, led by the Maccabees, revolted against the oppressive rule of the Seleucid King Antiochus IV. This led to the restoration of religious freedom for the Jewish people and the rededication of the Holy Temple. For Jewish communities in America, the observance of Hanukkah provides an opportunity to connect with their cultural and religious roots, as well as to educate others about Jewish customs. Particularly in the United States, Hanukkah has taken on aspects of American culture, with the exchange of gifts and the incorporation of American food traditions into the celebration.

To observe Hanukkah Ends, families typically gather to light candles on the menorah, recite blessings, sing songs, and enjoy traditional foods. Additionally, community groups, synagogues, and Jewish organizations often host public menorah lightings and celebrations, which serve to strengthen connections within the Jewish community. Hanukkah takes place in December, according to the Hebrew calendar. The specific dates vary from year to year, but it generally occurs between late November and late December.

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Facts about Hanukkah

  • Hanukkah commemorates the cleansing and re-dedicating of the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2000 years ago. Syrian king Antiochus had ordered the Jews to abandon the Torah and worship Greek gods. In retaliation, Judas Maccabeus retook the temple in Jerusalem.
  • On the final night of Hanukkah, the last candle of the menorah is lit. The lighting of the menorah serves as a reminder to those passing by of the miracle that occurred so long ago when the remaining bit of pure oil burned for eight nights.
  • The "miracle of the oil lamp" refers to a legend where a one-day supply of oil miraculously burned for eight days.

Top things to do in Italy for Last Day of Hanukkah

  • Enjoy traditional fried foods like latkes, sufganiyot, or apple fritters.

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