Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, will be celebrated in 2019 from sundown December 22 to sundown December 30.
It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, after a 3 year battle, to liberate the Land of Israel from the Syrian Greeks, who occupied it. Under Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Syrian Greeks had imposed their culture, defiled the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and banned Jewish practices.
A miracle is said to have occurred during the re-dedication of the Holy Temple and the restoration of its menorah, or lamp. Only one vial of oil was found for the Temple lamp with just enough oil to illuminate it for just one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days.
To honour this miraculous event, families will light one new candle in their menorah for 8 days, eat special foods, sing Hanukkah songs, play Hanukkah games with family and friends.
To all who celebrate, I wish you a happy and joyous Hanukkah.