by Hadley Holcomb, staff writer
Many people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas because they are recognizing that many people celebrate in ways other than Christmas. An example of a different holiday is Hanukkah, which is celebrated by the Jewish people.
Recently, I was able to interview a student from Avonworth Middle School who along with her family celebrates Hanukkah.
It was explained that Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The Maccabee Temple was destroyed by the Greeks in war. The Maccabee people went back into their destroyed temple for shelter and gathered enough in their lamp for one night, but instead it lasted eight whole nights. This gave them enough oil to win the war against the Greeks.
Our middle school student explained that she and her family celebrate Hanukkah each night by lighting candles on the Menorah and eating food such as latkes and matzo ball soup.
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights from sunset to sunset. This year Hanukkah began on November 27th and lasted until December 5th. Common symbols used to signify Hanukkah include the Star of David and the dreidel.