Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah) is the Festival of Rededication, which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BC. It is also known as The Festival of Lights. The “lights” are the oil lamps or candles which Jews throughout the world light in remembrance of the miracle of the oil that occurred more than two thousand years ago.
Although the Greeks did not actually destroy the Temple, they contaminated it. Hanukkah celebrates the return of holiness to the Temple after the contamination of the Greeks.
Hanukkah is not one of the 7 Levitical Jewish Feasts but Jesus attended the celebration during His earthly ministry:
“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:22-23
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