Category :: Religious Holiday
The festive holiday of Chanukah begins on December 12th this year. Candles are lit after sundown, except in the case of Shabbat, where they are lit before sundown. The date shown is the first day when candles are lit and continues for 8 days.
Chanukah is a memorial holiday for events that happened 21 centuries ago in the land of Israel. The Greeks sought to Hellenize Jews against their will, so a small band of Jews, led by the Maccabees, initiated a fight against a much bigger army, and successfully drove them from the land.
When the Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple, they found only enough pure oil for the Temple's Menorah for one day, but the flames miraculously lasted 8 days, which is the reason why we light a Chanukiah over 8 days.
Other Chanukah customs inlcude eating fried foods, including latkes and sufganiot, playing dreidel and giving Chanukah gelt, in both chocolate and money forms.