Jews start celebrating holiday of Hanukkah today on December 22. Hanukkah holiday begins every year on the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev and lasts 8 days. This year, it will start in evening of December 22 and will continue until the evening of December 30, 2019.
In Hebrew calendar, a new day begins with the sunset, not at midnight.
Jews celebrate Hanukkah from the 2nd century B.C.E. According to Jewish tradition, after the Greek pagans desecrated the Jerusalem temple, a rebellion broke out, culminating in the victory of the Jewish forces.
After the expulsion of the Greek invaders from Israel, the Jews restored the desecrated and partially destroyed temple of the city. On the day of its consecration, the main temple lamp - the menorah had to be lit, and the fire must have been maintained constantly. But there was very little oil for the lamp. It would take eight days to make and consecrate the new one.
However, miraculously, the fire in the golden menorah burned for eight days, during which people prepared new oil. In memory of this event, candles are lit every night on this holiday: one is on the first day of the holiday, two - on the second, three - on the third and so on up to eight, using, as a rule, a special candlestick - Hanukkah. At the same time, it is customary to place Hanukkah on the street at the entrance to the house or on the windowsill so that its light is visible to everyone.
The Hanukkah candle is lit at the beginning of the night. Before lighting them, it is not allowed to engage in other activities. Many do not wait for the beginning of the night, and light the Hanukkah lights after the sunset.
These days, out of respect for the little jug of oil found by the Maccabees, it is customary to eat food fried in oil. The main Hanukkah treats are oil-fried donuts with jam inside and latkes potato pancakes.