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Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated worldwide. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt, which took place in the 2nd century BCE. The Observance focuses on the miracle of the oil, as a single day's supply of oil lasted for eight days in the Temple's menorah (a seven-branched candelabrum). This miracle is the basis for many of the customs and traditions associated with the holiday, including the lighting of the menorah, the recitation of blessings, and the consumption of oil-based foods.
There is a rich historical connection between the Jewish community and the Netherlands. The Dutch Republic was home to one of the largest and most significant Jewish communities in Europe, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch Jewish community has greatly contributed to various aspects of Dutch culture, including literature, science, and philosophy. Hanukkah thus holds a special significance for the Dutch Jewish community as the festival provides an opportunity to both recall their unique historical legacy and preserve their cultural heritage in the contemporary Dutch society.
In the Netherlands, Hanukkah is celebrated in much the same way it is in other parts of the world. Families gather to light the menorah each night, adding a candle or oil lamp for each of the eight nights, while reciting prayers and enjoying traditional treats such as fried potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). Public menorah lighting ceremonies can also be found in major Dutch cities, notably in Amsterdam's Dam Square. Hanukkah's dates vary each year according to the Hebrew calendar, ranging from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
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