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Hanukkah 2023

Authored by British Online Archives
Published on 7th December, 2023 1 min read

Hanukkah 2023

Today (7/12/2023) is the first day of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah and the “festival of lights”. This eight-day holiday usually occurs between late-November and December. Hanukkah commemorates a Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid Empire in Judea in the second century BCE. This rebellion culminated in a band of Jewish warriors — known as the Maccabees — reclaiming the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Yet when they went to light the Temple’s menorah — a candelabrum of seven candles, which were supposed to burn every night — they found that there was only enough oil to last for one day.

According to scripture, the menorah burned for eight whole nights, allowing the worshippers time to replenish their oil supply. In remembrance of this miraculous event, and as a symbol of light overcoming darkness, the festival of Hanukkah has been celebrated ever since.

This holiday is celebrated in diverse ways across the world. Some people spend time with their loved ones and light eight candles (one more each night until the chanukiah is fully lit). They might also exchange gifts, play games, and donate to charity. In addition, the festivities often feature special foods fried in oil, such as sufganiyot (jam or custard doughnuts) and latkes (fried potato pancakes).

Happy Hanukkah from British Online Archives!

Authored by British Online Archives

British Online Archives

British Online Archives provides unique collections of primary source documents for students and researchers studying the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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