Shannon D Ezell
Jewish Holy Days Paper
What would Christmas be without the gifts, presents and all the lights? Some would say jokingly, that it would be Hanukkah. I know that is what I would have said prior to studying some background on Judaism, and finding out some really interesting facts about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. Prior to my research I had questions about the Jewish religion holiday, such as, what time of the year is the holiday is celebrated? What types of religious practices are associated with Hanukkah? Where did Hanukkah come from, what is its historical origin? How do the different branches of Judaism observe the holy day differently? I will answer all of these questions by exploring what is Hanukkah in this paper? The History of Hanukkah
“Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, is an early-winter festival full of joy. Often called the Feast of Lights, it is a welcome celebration during the growing gloom of winter” (Molloy, 2010 p.327). Hanukkah is similar to Christmas in the time of year in which it is celebrated, which is late November early December. The difference of between the two is that instead of focoussing on only a one day celebration as Christmas does. Hanukkah spreads its celebration over an eight day period. The days the celebration begin and end varies each year in the Gregorian calendar. “Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, and as such, it follows the lunar calendar. Hanukkah actually starts the same day every year; on the "25th day of Kislev" in the Jewish calendar” (www.answers.com).
Hanukkah has many different religious practices associated with it. One religious practice associated with Hanukkah is the lighting of a single candle each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. “Each day, over an eight-day period, one more candle is lit on a nine-branched candelabrum-a special form of menorah-until, at the end of the festival, all are alight.” This practice is...