Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) in United States ― Date, History, and Details
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History of Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) in United States and How to Celebrate/ Observe It
Chanukah is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.
The holiday lasts for eight nights and is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, the nine-branched candelabrum that is a symbol of the holiday. On each night of Chanukah, one more candle is lit until all eight are burning. The holiday is also marked by the eating of fried foods, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
Chanukah is not a Biblically mandated holiday, but it is mentioned in the Books of the Maccabees, which are included in the Catholic and Orthodox canons of the Bible. The holiday is observed on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which typically falls in December.
In the United States, Chanukah is often celebrated with the giving of gifts, especially to children. Many American Jews also exchange gifts with their Christmas-celebrating friends and neighbors as a way of extending the spirit of the holiday season to all.