Top 10 Facts

From the Tudors to rocks to fish, we have all the best facts right here!

More From Top 10 Facts

Top 10 Facts About Hanukkah!

Want to find out about the Jewish festival Hanukkah? We have 10 facts all about the story of Hanukkah and how it is celebrated!

Hanukkah is one of the most beloved Jewish holidays celebrated around the world. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. For eight days, families gather to light the menorah, share gifts, and enjoy traditional foods. Here are the top 10 facts about Hanukkah that we think you should know!

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival also known as the Festival of Light.

The word Hanukkah also means dedication in Hebrew.

2. The date of Hanukkah changes every year and lasts for 8 days.

The date of Hanukkah changes because it depends on the calendar, but it will always fall in November or December and it lasts for eight days.

3. There’s a special reason why Hanukkah lasts 8 days – here’s the story of Hanukkah.

The story of Hanukah dates back to over 2,000 years ago.

The Greeks had banned all Jewish religious rituals. King Antiochus tried to make the Jews pray to Greek Gods, but they refused.

There was a group of Jews called the Maccabees who fought against this and went to war. After 3 years of war they won but their temple was destroyed.

They repaired the temple and when they had finished they celebrated by lighting an oil lamp. 

There was only enough oil to burn the oil lamp’s candle for one day, but by some miracle it burned for eight days.

This is why the Hanukkah festival lasts for eight days and also why it is known as the festival of light.

Learn about what family life was like at different times in our history with the video below.

4. Children play with a traditional toy called The Dreidel.

The Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side. It is used in a children’s game which is played during Hanukkah.

close up photo of gray metal handheld tool

5. Special foods are eaten called Brisket and Latkes.

Brisket is a cut of beef which is normally slow roasted and is served at many Jewish celebrations. They also eat Latkes which are delicious potato pancakes made from mash.

6. Lots of the food is cooked in oil for a reason.

Hanukkah dishes are fried for a reason.

Latkes, donuts and apple fritters are just some of the fried foods people eat during Hanukkah. Jewish people fry their food in oil as a symbol of the miracle of the oil that burned for eight nights.

7. Each night of Hanukkah a candle is lit.

Jewish people will light a candle each night during Hanukkah on a Menorah, which is a candelabra with nine candles. There is a candle in the middle which is used to light the other candles. This is known as the shamash.

lighted candles on stainless steel candle holder

8. People give gifts and money to celebrate.

It is a tradition to give money to one another for Hanukkah. Nowadays people also give gifts although that hasn’t always been traditional.

9. Hanukkah is not the most important Jewish holiday.

Hanukkah is an important Jewish celebration but religious celebrations like Passover and Rosh Hashanah are much more important.

10. There are lots of different ways to spell Hanukkah.

You may have seen spellings such as Hanukkah, Hannuka or even Chanukah. This is because the word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew alphabet which doesn’t perfectly translate to sounds in the English alphabet so it can be spelled differently.

Send us your favourite facts!

Is there something we've missed? Got a fact you're dying to tell us? Submit it below and we could use it on a future Top 10 Facts page!ย 

Remember to always ask an adult before filling out forms online.

PODMAIL: Top 10 Facts

To record a message tap the big red button below. Your browser may ask permission to access the microphone, just accept this.


Add a comment

Top 10 Facts

From the Tudors to rocks to fish, we have all the best facts right here!

More From Top 10 Facts