Ryan tells us there's more to Hanukkah than bringing doughnuts to work

The people behind sky posted on 4 Apr

Ryan tells us there's more to Hanukkah than bringing doughnuts to work

Sky Careers

It's Hannukah – a festival of lights.

Hannukah is one of the newest Jewish festivals, set around 2,200 years ago in the midst of a revolt by the Jewish Maccabees against the Hellenist Emperor, who was threatening the Jewish religion, culture and identity.

The rebellion was successful, and in the aftermath of the battle, the prayer Temple was cleaned up and put back into use. An essential component of the Temple was the ‘everlasting light’ (which, by definition, was required to be lit permanently). A search for oil to fuel the light revealed only sufficient oil to last for 1 day; however it actually lasted for 8 days, until more oil was sourced - this being the miracle of Hannukah.

The festival lasts for eight nights, to represent the time the oil was aflame. It’s customary to light a ‘hannukiah’- a nine branched candelabra which can hold a candle for each day, along with the ‘shamash’, the candle which is used to light the other candles. An additional candle is added to the hannukiah each night, so there are nine flames lit by the end of the festival.

It’s also customary to eat oily foods such as doughnuts and latkes (fried potato cakes), as well as for children to play a game called ‘dreidel’, which involves spinning a four sided spinning top – each side representing a part of the story.

Over these eight days, I'll be lighting candles with my family each evening, attempting to make latkes, and will bring in doughnuts for my lucky colleagues.

Hannukah's a highly enjoyable and popular festival. If you see any public candelabras on view until the 20th December, you’ll now know why.