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HAPPY HANUKKAH

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Hannukkah, Hanukkah, Chanukah or Chanukkah are all acceptable spellings of the holiday celebrated by Jewish people sometime between late November and mid December, all according to the Jewish calendar and when the 25th eve of the Jewish month Kislev comes about this year starting at sundown Tuesday, December 16th and ending sundown Wednesday December 24th .
It is basically to celebrate the Jews regaining the Temple which was stolen by the Syrian-Greeks in 165 BC, who dedicated it to the worship of their God Zeus, when the army overtook the Jews making it an offense to be Jewish punishable by death. When the Jews took it back in order to purify the Temple they wanted to burn uncontaminated olive oil but only had enough for one night but still they lit it and it lasted for 8 days.
Hanukkah is a happy time known as The Festival of Lights and in modern times, since it usually is so close to Christmas, Jewish children receive gifts of Hanukkah, one every night for 8 nights. They also play a game with the Dreidel which is a top with 4 sides with Hebrew letters on each side. The game is usually played for Gelt which are chocolate coins covered with foil.
Eating fried foods are part of the rituals with potato Latkes, pancakes made with potatoes and onions and served with apple sauce, and Sufganiyot, a fried jelly donut.
A serious part of the holiday is a lighting of the Menorah--a candelabra having nine holders for candles with the middle higher than the 4 on each side. Every night one of the 8 are lit with the middle having been lit at the beginning of the holiday.
Lighting candles, playing games, eating chocolates, potato pancakes and fried donuts--what is not to like about Hanukkah which means ‘dedication’?

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