Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple, also known as the Second Temple, in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. All in all, the celebration may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. This Jewish holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched menorah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical menorah consists of eight branches with an additional visually distinct branch. The extra light, with which the others are lit, is called a Shamash and is given a distinct location, which is usually above or below the rest.
Other Hanukkah festivities include playing dreidel and eating delicious foods such as doughnuts and latkes. Since the 1970s, the worldwide Chabad Hasidic movement has initiated public menorah lightings in open public places in many countries – and each year more and more lightings take place publicly.