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RR: Hanukkah – Its Meaning And Origin

What’s an “RR” Post?

One of those things we’re doing on BBH is something I’m calling “Rerun” blog posts.

If you don’t know what those are and why I am doing them, then read this: Information Overload And The Invention Of Blog Post “Reruns” And “Marathons”.

This post originally appeared here on December 13, 2013

the history of hanukkah

Here at, we know you are more than a business owner.

You have family, friends, likes, dislikes, hobbies, religious beliefs (or maybe no religious beliefs!), and other interests.

For that reason, along with the many business-related posts, we regularly posts many non-business posts.

Today’s post is one of those types of posts.

We mention Christmas a lot, but we don’t want to overlook our friends who celebrate Hanukkah.

For that reason, today we want to focus on its meaning and origin.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is a Jewish holiday. (It can also be spelled Chanukah or Chanukkah. )

It commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

This was at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE.

How Many Days Is It Celebrated?

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar.

When Is It?

It can occur at any time from late November to late December. 

What Takes Place during Hanukkah?

The festival is observed by the lighting of a unique candelabrum called a Menorah or Hanukiah.

One additional light is lit on each night of the holiday.

This continues until the eighth and final night.

The typical Menorah has eight branches with an additional raised branch.

What is the extra light? It is called a shamashwhich means “attendant”.

It has a distinct location, which is usually above or below the rest.

The purpose of it is to have a light available for practical use.

This is so the Hanukkah lights themselves can be used just for publicizing and meditating upon Hanukkah.

What Event Does Hanukkah Commemorate?

According to the Talmud (one of Judaism’s most central texts) a man named Judah Maccabee, and the other Jews who took part in the re-dedication of the Second Temple, witnessed what a miracle.

What happened?

Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights.

This left them enough time to find a fresh supply of oil.

This wondrous event inspired the Jewish sages to proclaim a yearly eight-day festival: Hanukkah.


Sources: Wikipedia &

Photo by CarbonNYC

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About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.