What is Hanukkah?

The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Hanukkah 2023 begins on the evening of Thursday, December 7 and ends on the evening of Friday, December 15. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

Why don’t Christians celebrate Hanukkah when it is in the bible?

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the second century B.C. (Maccabees, 1 Maccabees 4:36-59; 2 Maccabees 1-2:19; 10:1-8)

The feast is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. In this year (December 8, 2023)

According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.

Because this miraculous event took place under the Old Covenant, it has no relevant meaning in the New Covenant other than prefiguring Christ and the New Covenant.

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