Feast of Dedication
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What is the Feast of Dedication?
The Feast of Dedication is another name for Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish festival that commemorates the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century b.c.e. It usually occurs in December but can also happen in late November and can extend into January.
Hanukkah, which can also be spelled Chanukah, is commonly interpreted as meaning “a dedication” in Hebrew.
The name Feast of Dedication is not commonly used. Hanukkah is much more commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights (or Feast of Lights). That’s because it’s observed with the lighting of a multi-branched candelabrum called the menorah (or hanukiah or chanukiah). When it has nine candles, one of them is a “starter” (technically called the shammes) that’s used to light the other eight candles. One candle is lit on each subsequent evening of the celebration, until all are lit. Special prayers may be said during the lighting of each candle or at different times of each day.
The tradition of lighting the menorah during Hanukkah is done to commemorate the story of a miracle. According to the story, when the Temple was rededicated, its lamps burned miraculously for a week, even though there was no enough oil to fuel them.
The rededication of the Temple occurred after Judea was liberated from Syrian occupation by the Maccabees, a family of Jews led by Judas Maccabaeus. They defeated the Syrians under Antiochus IV around 165 b.c.e.
The timing of Hanukkah is based on the Jewish calendar and varies from year to year. It is celebrated on the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet. This most often corresponds to an eight-day period in December.
Common ways of celebrating Hanukkah include giving gifts to children and loved ones, having family dinners, and eating special foods like latkes. Children sometimes play games with a traditional toy called a dreidel, a kind of four-sided top.
Example: We gather to light the menorah for the Feast of Dedication—Hanukkah!
Where does Feast of Dedication come from?
The name Feast of Dedication has been used since at least the 1600s. Various spellings of the word Hanukkah have been used in English since around the same time. The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word ḥănukkāh, which is thought to mean “a dedicating” or “a dedication.”
Hanukkah is thousands of years old, but it’s not one of the holidays mentioned in the canonical Jewish scriptures (the events it commemorates occurred after the writing of the Torah). Instead, it is based on rabbinic tradition. In the context of the Jewish religion, it is not considered one of the most important Jewish holy days. However, it is now celebrated by Jews all over the world, and it is especially popular among Jews in the United States. Hanukkah is also one of the most well-known Jewish holidays among people who are not Jewish, especially due to the fact that it often falls around the Christian holiday of Christmas, making it part of the “holiday season,” especially in the U.S.
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Feast of Dedication is another way of referring to Hanukkah, but it’s rarely used. The name Festival of Lights is much more common.
Tonight marks the end of Hannukah, the eight-day Jewish celebration also known as the Feast of Dedication or the Festival of Lights. We've gathered some articles that go into the food, fun, and tradition of this cheerful holiday—take a look! https://t.co/wPJ5SoPnR4
— Newspapers.com (@_newspapers) December 11, 2018
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The Feast of Dedication always takes place on the same eight days in December.
How to use Feast of Dedication in a sentence
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