Rel/134 World Religious Traditions 2
Jewish Holy Days
"Jewish celebrations are not limited to life-cycle events. As do all religions, Judaism sets aside certain holidays and days of remembrance as holy days. These holy days are scheduled according to the Jewish calendar" ("Basic Judaism", 2011). Unlike other calendars that are based off of the earth's revolutions around the sun the Jewish is on a secular calendar meaning it is made up of moon cycles where each month begins with a new moon. " Jewish holidays fall each year on different dates according to the secular calendar, but on the same date according to the Jewish calendar. Generally speaking, however, Jewish holidays always fall in the same season each year" ("Basic Judaism", 2011) ". In this paper it will describe Jewish holy day Hanukkah, the time of the year it takes place, the historical origin and meaning of the day. This paper will also include the religious practices associated with the day and the theological or cultural differences that might lead to differences in the observance of the holy day by the various branches of Judaism.
Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukkah is a eight day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century. " Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts" ("Hanukkah", 1996-2012). Hanukkah can easily be looked at as one of the best known Jewish holiday not just for its religious significance, but for its proximity to Christmas because the eight day festival begins on the 25th and adopts many of its customs like decoration and gift-giving.
The story of how Hanukkah came to pass is held in two books which is the first and second Maccabees....