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Hanukkah - Festival of Lights
 
Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights and celebration of peace, happiness and prosperity. Hanukkah or Chanukah means (in Hebrew) dedication.. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish calendar and corresponding, approximately, to December in the Gregorian calendar and celebrated on eight successive days, through the 2nd of Tevet. In addition to the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is also known as the Feast of Dedication, and Feast of the Maccabees.
 
menorah
The most important Hanukkah ritual is the candle lighting in a special candleholder called a `menorah` or a `hanukkiah`. There are 9 holders on a hanukkiah,one at the middle and four numbers on either side . The middle candle, called the` shamash`, and is used to light each of the other candles every night. Therefore, on the first night of Hanukkah, two candles are lit and on the last night, there are nine lit candles.
 
Festival of Lights is celebrating in India in a different context is known as Deepavali.
 
 
Hanukkah-history

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish calendar and corresponding, approximately, to December in the Gregorian calendar and celebrated on eight successive days, through the 2nd of Tevet.The date of festival.

Hannukah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenistic Syrians during 168 BCE (Before the Common Era) and the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after the Temple had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria and overlord of Palestine. After recapture of Temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabeus he had the Temple purged and a new altar put up in place of the desecrated one. The Temple was then rededicated to God.

According to legend, the Talmud tradition, only one measure of sacramental oil was found, enough for one day, but miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, thus the eight days of Hanukkah.
 
Hanukkah- AMAZING FEATS

Another common Hanukkah practice is giving gifts or money to children. There are lots of parties and special events among the Jews around the world. They sing Hanukkah songs, eat lots of special dishes and have lots of entertainments and incredible feats in honor of Hanukkah. Jewish Law permits, menorahs can be a maximum height of 30 feet but several organizations claim to have lit "The World's Largest Menorah" with out official approval. The ultimate goal of these record attempts is not for a competition, but to encourage people to light their own menorahs -a visible symbol of the message of Hanukkah.

It is reported that a Menorah was built in 1997 near the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. It was of measuring more than 60-feet tall, weighed 17 metric tons, and took up an area of 600-square meters.

Few interesting reports are copied bellow:-

The Lubavitch Youth Organization claimed to have lit the world's largest Hanukkah menorah in New York City's Central Park in 1998. A drawing of the original menorah in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem inspired the 32-foot high gold-colored steel structure, designed by artist Yaakov Agam. Specially designed glass chimneys protect the lights from the Central Park winds. Due to the height of the menorah, it was lit nightly with the help of a Con Edison "cherry picker" crane. On the first night of Hannukah in 1997, a 12-foot high pyramid made of 6,400 fried jelly doughnuts was erected near the Israeli town of Afula. The 19th annual lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah took place on December 13, 1998. The American Friends of Lubavitch claim that their 30-foot aluminum menorah is the largest in the world.
 
Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African cultural festival also known as Swahili kwanza, which means "beginnings". It is introduced into the United States in 1977 and this festival is celebrated with feasts and songs in the home for seven days and nights from December 26 to January 1.

The African colours, are prominently displayed. The green colour represent for the future and black for the struggle. Parents role is vital in this celebration, which stresses family unity and cultural self-determination, responsibility, purpose, creativity, and faith.
 
 
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