Surprising facts about Hanukkah that you didn’t know

Hanukkah means “dedication”In Hebrew

Members of Jewish community ignite a menorah in Mumbai, India, on the last night of Hanukkah.

On the last night of Hanukkah, members of the Jewish community light a menorah in Mumbai.

Rafiq Maqbool/AP

Hanukkah, also known by the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that celebrates victory of a small number of Jewish rebels over a large Greek army to protect their heritage. The flame, which has lasted miraculously, continues to be a symbol of hope, perseverance, and hope. 

The holiday commemorates the rededication of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem after a small Jewish army called the Maccabees In 164 BCE, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek leader, claimed it..

Legend has it that King Antiochus IV, a Greek emperor, desecrated Jerusalem’s Holy Temple and banned Judaism during the time the Jews lived in the Greek Empire. The small Jewish army known as the Maccabees led a rebellion against the Greeks and won. When they returned from the Temple to light the ritual menorah, they found only enough oil to last one more day. However, it miraculously lasted eight.

Jewish people remember the Maccabees’ victory, the miracle of the olive oil by lighting a Menorah for eight nights, and eating fried foods.

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