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Chanukah: A Judaic Sacred Festival & Its Customs

Chanukah is the holy festival for Jews which is also known as the festival of lights. It is the festival of rededication for them. According to the Jewish month of Kislev, the 8th day festival start on the 25th day of Kislev is celebrated as Chanukah. There is no doubt to say that it is one of the best known Jewish holidays.

It is not because of any immense spiritual & religious importance, but because it comes just before to the Christmas.

Lots of people who are not Jews, believes in this festival as the Jewish Christmas. They follow various Christmas traditions, for example: giving gifts to one another & decorating their homes. It is much ironical that this festival, which has its roots in a revolt in opposition to suppression & assimilation of Jewish faith, has turn into the most secular & assimilated holiday on the calendars.

Chanukah is not a very significant religious festival. The festivalís religious importance is far less than that of Sukkot, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Shavu'ot & Passover. It is approximately equal to Purim in importance & you will get a lot of people who are not Jews have even known about Purim! Chanukah is not stated in Jewish scripture; the story behind it is mentioned in the book of Maccabees, which Jews donít allow as scripture. Each one night, one more candle is added from right to left. But candles are lit up from left to right.

On the last night, all the 9 candles are lit up to seen very beautiful. It is customary to consume fried foods on Chanukah because of the impact of oil to the festival. Between Ashkenazic Jews, this generally consists of latkes. Giving gifts to one another is not a customary branch of this festival, but has been added in areas where Jews get in touch with Christians. It is very strange for Jews to give Chanukah gifts to anybody other than their own kids.

The only customary gifts of the festival is "gelt," little sum of cash. One more custom of this festival is enjoying dreidel, a betting game. A lot of people play for M&Ms pennies, chocolates coins or matchsticks. The customary clarification of this game is that throughout the time of Antiochus' crueltyArticle Submission, those persons who wanted to learn Torah which is against law would cover their activity by enjoying having a bet games with a top when a checker was within view.

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†A large variety of Chanukah Menorahs, menorahs and hanukah.

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