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Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an 8-day Jewish holiday celebrated annually. Here are some facts and details about this significant observance:

Historical origins:  

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the second century BCE. The Maccabees, a small group of Jewish fighters, reclaimed the Temple from the Greeks and restored religious freedom.  

Miracle of the oil: 

A central theme of Hanukkah is the miraculous event where a small amount of oil, enough for only one, burned for eight days in the Temple menorah. 

Rituals and traditions:  

Adding one candle each night on the menorah , also called a hanukkiah, symbolizes the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. Foods cooked in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly filled donuts) are traditional Hanukkah dishes. Families gather to play dreidel, a spinning top game, and exchange gifts over the course of the holiday. 

Symbolism and significance:  

The lighting of the menorah represents hope, faith, and the triumph of light over darkness, emphasizing the endurance of the Jewish faith and identity. It’s a time for reflection of the values of religious freedom, perseverance, and the importance of preserving cultural heritage. 

Contemporary celebrations:  

Communities worldwide celebrate Hanukkah with public menorah lightings, festive gatherings, music and cultural events. The holiday serves as a unifying time for families, fostering a sense of community and connection among Jewish people globally. Hanukkah holds deep historical and cultural significance, embodying themes of resilience, faith, and the preservation of traditions throughout generations. 

When does Hanukkah start and end? 

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which typically falls in November or December on the Gregorian calendar. It lasts for eight days and nights, concluding on the 2nd or 3rd of the month of Tevet which falls in December and January. The exact dates can vary slightly each year due to the differences between the lunar-based Hebrew calendar and the solar-based Gregorian calendar. 

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Jocelyn Sanchez
Jocelyn Sanchez, Reporter
Jocelyn Sanchez is currently a freshman at Tracy high school. Born August 27, 2009, she has lived in Tracy since she was 10 years old. She didn’t think she would be able to get through moving because of her anxiety at first. Sanchez lives in a family of six. Within the household is her mom, dad, older sister, older brother and two younger brothers. Sanchez has become a little more comfortable doing new experiences. Sanchez hopes to improve her creative skills in drawing, painting, and sketching. She plans to better her drawing. Another thing that Sanchez loves doing is hanging around with people she knows because when she feels comfortable with things. She can open up to people she is comfortable around. Taking journalism, for her, has been something that Sanchez has looked forward to doing due to her love of writing, which has always been a fun activity for her.  

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