First Day of Hanukkah in India ― Date, History, and Details

First Day of Hanukkah in India

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History of First Day of Hanukkah in India and How to Celebrate/ Observe It

The first day of Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. In India, Hanukkah is not a public holiday, but it is widely observed by the country’s small Jewish community.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greek army in the second century BCE. According to tradition, when the Temple was recaptured, there was only enough oil to light the menorah (candelabra) for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be procured.

Today, Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting the menorah each night for eight nights. Jews also eat fried foods during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle of the oil.

In India, Hanukkah is celebrated primarily by members of the country’s small Bene Israeli community. Bene Israelis are Jews of Indian origin who settled in Mumbai in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hanukkah celebrations among Bene Israelis typically include the lighting of the menorah, as well as special prayers and meals.