Hanukkah

When: From 27th November (to nightfall) to 5th December 2013

Where: in Trafalgar Square, London, England

From 27th November (to nightfall) to 5th December 2013, you can celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in London.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks of the 2nd century BC. This celebration dates back almost 2,500 years. The Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. According to the Talmud, a late text, the Temple was purified. The particular thing is that  the menorah’s wicks have burned for eight days, even though there was sacred oil just for one.

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. Every night a light is turned on the lamp. The typical Menorah is a eight – branched candelabrum. There is also one central raised branch. The lamps are lit from below upwards. The top light is lit last day and it is called a Shamash, in Hebrew means “guardian.”

In this festival people sing special songs, such as Ma’oz Tzur and they also recite Hallel prayer. People eat foods fried in oil, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods. They also play the dreidel game and give Hanukkah geld.

In Trafalgar Square there is a giant menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. An additional light is lit every evening.

Menorah in Trafalgar Square Menorah

 

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