noun \ˈhä-nə-kə, ˈä-\

: an eight-day Jewish holiday that is celebrated in November or December

Full Definition of HANUKKAH

:  an 8-day Jewish holiday beginning on the 25th of Kislev and commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after its defilement by Antiochus of Syria

Variants of HANUKKAH

Ha·nuk·kah also Cha·nu·kah or Ha·nu·kah \ˈhä-nə-kə, ˈä-\

Origin of HANUKKAH

Hebrew ḥănukkāh dedication
First Known Use: 1843


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Judaism, a holiday celebrating the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 164 BC, after its desecration three years earlier by order of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The Maccabees recaptured Jerusalem and reconsecrated the Temple after leading a successful revolt against Syrian rule. The lighting of the menorah recalls the story that a one-day supply of oil burned miraculously in the Temple for eight days until new oil could be obtained. Sometimes called the Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights, it is celebrated for eight days in December, during which the ceremonial candles are lit and children play games and receive gifts. Originally a minor holiday, it has become more lavishly celebrated as a result of its proximity to Christmas.


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