The festival of Hanukkah (meaning "dedication") is celebrated near the time of the winter solstice. According to rabbinic legend, a miraculous vessel of oil burned for eight days, enabling the Maccabees to reconsecrate the ancient temple in Jerusalem.
Today Jews light the Hanukkah lamp (menorah or hanukkiah) after sundown, adding one light each night for eight nights. Hanukkah is also known as the festival of lights. It celebrates an historic Jewish response: not to curse the darkness but to bless the light.
What is the difference between a menorah and a hanukkiah? Learn this and more in our FAQ.