Hanukkah means “dedication” in Hebrew, refers to the eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and “rededication” of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The story tells of how the Maccabees rejected the occupier Antiochus Epiphanes and retook the temple against great odds. When Judah Maccabee rededicated the temple, they did not have enough oil, but for one day. That little bit of oil though lasted for eight whole days until more oil could be prepared.
The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of the Hanukiah, a special menorah for Hanukkah; foods prepared in oil including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts); and special songs and games.
Here are some resources to help you make the most out of celebrating his holiday.