Christmas is not the only major festival to happen in December.
Chanukah (or Hanukkah), the Jewish festival of light, runs this year from the evening of 12 December until the evening of 20 December and celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days after the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem over 2500 years ago.
And whilst Chanukah may not have Santa, reindeer or mince pies, for eight good reasons Chanukah is actually better than Christmas! Here’s why.
1. It lasts EIGHT days
There may officially be twelve days of Christmas, but celebrations are usually limited to Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
At Chanukah time it is all about eight full days and nights of festivities full of family time, fun and food.
2. EIGHT days of presents
Yes Christmas may have present-giving on Christmas Day, but on Chanukah you get presents every day for eight days.
At Chanukah time you are positively encouraged to eat doughnuts (sufganiyot).
This is because they are cooked in oil and remind us of the miracle of the holiday.
4. Fried Food
In fact all fried food is encouraged at Chanukah, especially fried grated potato pancakes called latkes!
Chanukah even has its own game – Spin the Dreidal.
At Chanukah you give money (gelt) both real and chocolate, which are the best two types of money.
7. Chanukah songs
Chanukah has some great tunes both traditional (Maoz Tzur) and non-traditional, like the cult favourite ‘Chanukah Song’ by Adam Sandler.