Hanukkah 2014 begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 16, and ends on Wednesday evening, December 24.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights.
It commemorates the victory of the ancient Israelites over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of restoring the menorah in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The miracle of Hanukkah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days.
We celebrate Hanukkah at home by lighting the menorah (each night we light one additional candle to the number from the previous night), playing dreidel, and eating special foods unique to Hanukkah. Some people also sing Hanukkah songs or exchange gifts after lighting the menorah.
Many Hanukkah foods are deep-fried in oil, symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Temple. These include latkes, or potato pancakes, and jelly doughnuts. Many also make the Sephardic delicacy bimuelos and use, of course, applesauce as a topping.
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