Celebrating Hannukah on Instagram
Over the past eight days, Jews across the world have come together with family and friends to celebrate Hannukah, the festival of lights.
Hannukah, also spelled Chanukah, begins on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, causing the timing of the holiday to vary each year between late November and late December. The festival commemorates the Maccabee rebellion of 167 BCE, when a Jewish group regained control of their Temple in Jerusalem after it had been occupied by Syrian-Greek soldiers. They set out to burn ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days to purify the holy space, but found there was only enough oil left to burn for one day. As the story goes, however, the oil miraculously burned for the full eight days.
Now, Jews celebrating Hannukah come together at sunset to light candles in their own menorahs—one a night for eight nights in memory of the ancient miracle. Other Hannukah traditions involve spinning the dreidel—a traditional children’s game—and eating fried potato pancakes called latkes.