When is Chanukah? Start date of the Jewish holiday and what happens
Hanukkah is a holiday marked by Judaism that marks the time when people who practiced the faith rose up against their Greek-Syrian persecutors, which happened thousands of years ago.
The story behind the eight-day event begins with Antiochus III’s son, the Syrian king, known as Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who did not want Jews to follow their religion.
To stop them from practicing their faith, he sent his soldiers to Jerusalem, where they killed thousands of people.
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Antiochus had tried to have those who followed Judaism arrested for marking a statue in their religious temple and for praying to their Greek god, but when a practicing group – initially led by the priest Mattathias who later died, his son, known as Judah Maccabee’s name, took over – refused, it sparked a three-year war against the monarchy, and although the next group Judah Maccabee triumphed, their religious temple was reduced to rubble.
Following this, Judah urged his followers to rebuild the temple and light a menorah. Initially, followers thought the menorah candles would only burn for one day, but they actually continued to burn for an additional seven days, or eight days in total. This is what turned the event into a festival, called Hanukkah, or otherwise known as Hanukkah.
So when is the event celebrated this year? And what traditions and activities take place? Here is what we know.
When is Chanukah 2021 and what traditions and activities take place?
Hanukkah 2021 will begin on the evening of Sunday, November 28 and end on Monday, December 6.
During this time, children can expect to receive presents and presents, while some families will participate in a game called dreidel, which are four-sided spinning tops, containing letters of the Hebrew language alphabet. It started when Antiochus forbade the Jews to practice their faith as a way for them to study the first part of their holy book, the Torah, and so they could learn their language. In modern times, however, it is seen as a way for families to come together.
The Jews will also light a menorah. Each of the nine branches of the oil lamp is lit every night of the festival. The ninth, however, is simply used as a flame for the other branches. Two blessings – or three on the first night – are made when the candle is lit. Jews often place the lamp on a window sill where it can be viewed publicly by others.
Food consumed during the event usually consists of a variety of items. Latkes are sometimes eaten and consist of potatoes. They usually also contain eggs, flour and onion. Other foods eaten include donuts, flat bread called matzah, and bread called challah.