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Hanukkah

[hah-nuh-kuh; Ashkenazic Hebrew khah-nuh-kuh; Sephardic Hebrew khah-noo-kah] /ˈhɑ nə kə; Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈxɑ nə kə; Sephardic Hebrew xɑ nuˈkɑ/
noun
1.
a Jewish festival lasting eight days, celebrated from the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet in commemoration of the rededication of the Temple by the Maccabees following their victory over the Syrians under Antiochus IV, characterized chiefly by the lighting of the menorah on each night of the festival.
Also, Chanukah.
Also called Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights.
Origin
1890-1895
1890-95; < Hebrew ḥănukkāh literally, a dedicating
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Hanukkah

Hanukkah

/ˈhɑːnəkə; -nʊˌkɑː; Hebrew xanuˈka/
noun
1.
the eight-day Jewish festival of lights beginning on the 25th of Kislev and commemorating the rededication of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus in 165 bc Also called Feast of Dedication, Feast of Lights
Word Origin
from Hebrew, literally: a dedication
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for Hanukkah

see Chanukah.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Hanukkah in Culture
Hanukkah [(khah-nuh-kuh, hah-nuh-kuh)]

A festival in Judaism that occurs each December. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews in the second century b.c. over the Syrians, who had occupied their country, and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem (hanukkah is Hebrew for “dedication”). Observers of Hanukkah light one candle in a candleholder called a menorah each night for eight nights in memory of a legend that, when the Temple was rededicated, its lamps burned, without enough oil, miraculously for a week.

Note: Hanukkah was formerly one of the less important Jewish festivals, but today it is celebrated by Jews in many parts of the world — especially the United States, where it overlaps with the celebration of Christmas.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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