Date published: December 12, 2017
Tuesday 12 December marks the start of Hanukkah, an important 8 day Jewish festival of lights.
The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.
The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a Hanukkah menorah. One branch is typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light the other eight candles. This unique candle is called the shamash. Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the holiday. Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating oil-based foods such as doughnuts and latkes.