Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family

Arizona Celebrates Hanukkah 2021

PHOENIX - Director Maria Cristina Fuentes joined Governor Doug Ducey and Arizona community leaders to celebrate Hanukkah. 

Hanukkah is often referred to as the "Festival of Lights." It is celebrated for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which may fall anywhere between late November and early December on the secular calendar. This year, Hanukkah began on Sunday, November 28. For eight nights, families say prayers and then light candles in an eight-branched candelabra called a menorah. Most families also serve special holiday foods, sing songs, play games, and give gifts including Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins).

The Hanukkah story is based on historical events that took place in 165 BCE in Jerusalem. After the Second Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated by the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV and his Greco-Syrian troops, Jewish priest Mattathias and his sons rebelled. Retaking Jerusalem and the Temple, they lit the holy lamp (the menorah) but had only enough oil for one night. Miraculously, the lamp stayed lit for eight days until enough holy oil could be procured.

Wishing all Arizonans who celebrate a warm, peaceful & joyous festival of lights.

Chag Sameach!


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