The “Festival of lights”


The Jewish feast of the Hanukkah, known also as the “Festival of lights,” starts every year on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev and extends to the month of Tevet. This year it will start on the evening of 13 December and will last up to 20 December. The feast recalls the revolt of the Maccabei in the 2nd century BC, who rose in defense of monotheism, and their own land and customs, against the Greeks who wanted to strip the Jews of their identity. After the Greek occupation, upon returning to the Temple of Jerusalem for its rededication, they found only an ampule of oil that was sufficient for just one day. Miraculously, that small amount of oil gave light for eight days.  Every year during this period, every night in their homes, all Jewish families light up a candle of the menorah (the nine-arm candelabra) for eight nights, as the number of days in which the oil ampule remained alight in the Temple. The candelabra is placed close to the window, so that it can be seen also from outside, as a warning to always respect life and its ideals.