Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. The holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. According to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt and won. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar.
A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a doorway or window. Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash (“attendant”) until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the holiday. Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating oil-based foods such as doughnuts and latkes.