With an evening prayer and the lighting of candles, after the sunset Jews started celebrating Hanukkah – the holiday of light, which will last for the next eight days.
Hanukkah is a celebration of the victory of the Jews Maccabees over the pagan Hellenistic-Assyrian army, as well as the dedication of the Second Temple that was desecrated during the Hellenistic-Assyrian occupation of Jerusalem.
This celebration is marked in Jewish temples and homes all around the world with services, family gatherings, and lighting of candles on a special candlestick known as Menorah or Hanukkiah.
A special eight-branched candelabrum with an additional nine branch is used for Hanukkah, and the lighting of candles is the central act of the entire celebration of this holiday. The first candle is lit on the first night, and another one is lit every next night.
This is an important holiday for Jews because they recall the legend which ways that after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple some oil for a candlestick – menorah – was found, and it was sufficient for one day only. However, the oil burned for eight full days, which is considered a miracle in Judaism.
This holiday is usually in December and Jews do not do any jobs in the house then.