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Happy Hanukkah, The Jewish Festival of Lights

Happy Hanukkah, The Jewish Festival of Lights

Globally and commonly, the December month every year and everywhere witnesses a lot of festivities, religious-spiritual events, international programs, sports activities, New Year celebrations etc, with a general atmosphere of holidays, leaves and vacations. It is the winter time in the northern hemisphere. Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish festivity falls at this time. The Hanukkah celebration is up to the 10th of December.

Israel and the Jews worldwide celebrate Hanukkah to commemorate an ancient, 2nd century BCE, rise or victory of the Jewish community against the then opponents Greek-Syrian oppressors. Hanukkah means dedication. Before the Syrians, the region was ruled by the Egyptians at that time that spread as far as the Israel land at that time. The Syrians also invaded Egypt in that time. The Greek God Zeus was forced to be worshiped in place of the Jewish belief and follow the Greek-Syrian customs. Some historians have a little different version of the developments. 

The Hanukkah festivity involves the Jewish families to light candles, preparing special meals, play music, ready games for the children etc. It is the Jewish festival of lights. A set of 9 candles is made ready; one of the nine candles, also often called the helper, is used to light the other 8 candles, representing the 8 days-nights. In the family celebrations, many parents and the elderly present gifts to the children. Some give them a traditional game to be played with the dreidel. 

The dreidel’s concept is like that of the teetotum or somewhat like the dice. Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top. The dreidel is also used during other Jewish festivities-holidays. A dreidel is normally made of wood material. The dreidel has 4 Jewish letters, alphabets written on each of the 4 sides. These four Hebrew characters are Nun, Gimel, Hei, and Shin. Together these alphabets mean nes gadol haya sham, meaning “a great miracle happened there”, in reference to Hanukkah. In the game, the alphabets mean Nun for nothing, Gimel – everything, Hei – half, and Shin – put in. So depending on the outcome of the spin, each player gets an item or gives an item etc. The items can be anything like chocolate, nuts, matchsticks etc.

We wish the natives Happy Hanukkah.

 

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