Hanukkah is an eight-day festival of light that commemorates a great victory in Jewish history allowing the Jewish people to freely perform their religious functions. The most important part of the Hanukkah celebration is sharing time with family and friends, passing along the story of the Maccabee success to children, and celebrating a piece of Jewish history. Hanukkah begins the evening of December 2, 2010.
The primary observance of Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah, which commemorates the miracle of light that occurred when the Jews re-claimed their Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 21 centuries ago. One candle is lit the first night, and an additional candle is lit each successive night. And on the last night of Hanukkah, all eight candles of the menorah are lit. While lighting the candles, blessings are recited and songs are sung by family and friends.
Hanukkah customs include eating foods fried in oil, playing with the Dreidel, and giving the gift of Hanukkah Gelt to children.
The traditional Hanukkah meal is served after lighting the menorah, and includes oil-rich foods that commemorate the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days.