|Every year between the end of November and the end of December,
Jewish people around the world celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, the
Festival of Lights. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew (希伯来的)
month of Kislev (历法：基色娄月，即犹太教历9月，犹太国历3月，在公历11、12月间，共29或30天), but the
starting date on the western calendar varies from year to year. The
holiday celebrates the events which took place over 2,300 years ago in the
land of Judea（朱迪亚，古巴勒斯坦南部地区，包括今巴勒斯坦南部地区和约旦的西南部地区）, which is now Israel.
Jews celebrate Chanukah to mark the victory over the Syrians and the
rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. The Festival of the Lights,
Chanukah, lasts for eight days to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The
word Chanukah means "rededication".
Long ago in the land of Judea there was a Syrian
king, Antiochus. The king ordered the Jewish people to reject their God,
their religion, their customs and their beliefs and to worship the Greek
gods. There were some who did as they were told, but many refused. One who
refused was Judah Maccabee.
Judah and his four brothers formed an army and chose as their name the
word "Maccabee", which means hammer. After three years of fighting, the
Maccabees were finally successful in driving the Syrians out of Israel and
reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem（耶路撒冷大庙）. The Maccabees wanted to clean
the building and to remove the hated Greek symbols and statues. On the
25th day of the month of Kislev, the job was finished and the temple was
When Judah and his followers finished cleaning the temple, they wanted
to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in
every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be
Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for
a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as
the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.
In America, families celebrate Chanukah at home. They give and receive
gifts, decorate the house, entertain friends and family, eat special
foods, and light the holiday menorah（犹太教神殿中用的大烛台）.