The Scoop December 2016 - Page 15

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated this year between December 24th and January 1st, taking up the time from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. It celebrates the Jewish people taking back the “Holy Land” of Israel/Jerusalem from the Greeks over two thousand years ago. This small band of Jews drove back one of the most powerful armies in their day from their home country. After driving the Greeks from Jerusalem, they then only had a one-day supply of ritually purified olive oil to burn candles. Against all odds, the supply of oil lasted for nine days. With these unlikely circumstances, the Jewish people prevailed this day and from then on, they celebrated this with the eight days of burning candles. During this time, Jewish people light a candle each day of Hanukkah to represent each day the candles were lit over two millennia ago. People also eat fried foods like sufganiot (doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancakes). They play with a top called a “dreidel” and also give gifts and money to children.

These holidays are important days/periods during December for many people. Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth and involves giving gifts with Santa Claus and eating food with family. Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish takeover of Jerusalem from the Greeks where they light candles for eight days and eat fried oily foods. Both of these holidays are important for many and they should be known as their own days.

Dexter Hom

Green Trees, Lit Candles, and Surprise Gifts