At the end of the year, the Jewish people come together to celebrate a popular festival. This year it will run from the 18th of December and last until the end of the 26th of December. This is Hanukkah and it is marked by the lighting of candles to show how light comes forth in the darkness. It coincides with the Christian celebration of Christmas and both follow the old Pagan acknowledgement of the metrological and celestial mid-winter. If you are looking for a great gift to give for Hanukkah you might take a look at a womens merino wool sweater like the ones available from www.shamrockgift.com/aran-sweaters/womens-aran-sweaters/womens-merino-wool-irish-sweater or something equally as cosy and fashionable.
The holiday is unlike Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah in that there are no religious observations and commitments. As a result in Israel and other Orthodox Jews, it is not widely celebrated. However, in the USA and Europe, it has gained immense popularity and observance. It’s seen as a way of celebrating Jewish heritage even if the observance of the religion is not foremost in the celebrant’s mind or everyday life.
The story behind Hanukkah is that of a sect of Judaism, The Maccabees. They revolted against an oppressive force and were able to reclaim an old synagogue. They lit the Menorah candle and the light burnt for 8 days straight. This was miraculous as there was only enough oil left to burn the candles over 1 day. Cakes are eaten, songs are sung and the game of Dreidel is played along with the symbolic lighting of the menorah candles.