Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights is a popular Jewish festival, which every year close to Christmas time, is celebrated in remembrance of Jewish revolt against tyranny.

Iran (IMNA) - Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights is one of the most popular Jewish religious festival. Every year, this elegant festival came to be widely celebrated by the Jewish in order to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the Maccabean revolt against a tyrant king.

Victory of the Jewish over a Tyrant Ruler

This festival dates back to the victory of Maccabees in 165 BCE over Antiochus IV Epiphanes as a tyrant king. The Seleucid king had invaded and gained control of Judea. Then, he outlawed the Jewish religion and tried to Hellenize the Jews through desecrating the Second Temple in Jerusalem. But at last a rebellion was risen by the Jewish and led by a Jewish priest Matisyahu and his five sons. In 165 BCE, the Jews defeat the tyrant ruler and managed to rededicate their sacred Temple. Following the victory in a three-year struggle against Antiochus, Judas decided the refurbishment and renovation of the Temple and then a new alter was installed and dedicated on Kislev 25.

Celebrating Freedom

Following this victory, Judas announced that the dedication of the restored Temple should be celebrated every year. According to the Talmud, a late text, after the temple was purified, olive oil was needed to burn the menorah lighting. Even though, there was only enough oil for one day’s lighting, it lasted eight days! Jews considered this event as a great miracle and every year they celebrate this splendid freedom and miracle.

Hanukkah; the Festival of Lights

Hanukkah includes a lot of customs but the most brilliant tradition is the lighting of the menorah, a candelabra with eight branches and a holder for the Shammash to light the other eight candles. Following the ancient tradition, olive oil is used for lighting the menorah and is replaced by candles which are inserted each night of the festival in the menorah. Moreover, when the candles are lit, blessing over candles are chanted and hymns are sung, commemorating the rededication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and the Maccabean revolt.

IMNA's Press Team Wishing Iranian Jews a Happy Hanukkah and hopes them enjoy the festival.

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