Sundown tonight on December 16th marks the first night of the Festival of Lights, an eight-day celebration in the Jewish religion. We wish all of those who observe Hanukkah a wonderful and joyous holiday!
For those who may not know how the Festival of Lights came about, it all started in 168 B.C.E. when the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and the emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. The Jewish rebels resisted and became known as the Maccabees. Once they eventually regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem.
By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day’s worth of oil left in the Temple.
They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days. And that is how the miracle of Hanukkah came to be. (story facts courtesy of about.com)