|Sent on:||Monday, December 10, 2012 8:18 AM|
On behalf the Chicago Songwriters Collective let me wish a Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish members.
Hanukkah runs from December 8-16 this year.
As songwriters we tend to like to know the story behind something so here is the capsule summary:
Once the (Jewish) Maccabees had regained control from the Greeks in 167 BC, they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day's worth of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days.
This is the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that is celebrated every year when Jews light a special menorah known as a hanukkiyah for eight days. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and so on, until eight candles are lit.
Hanukkah falls on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar based, every year the first day of Hanukkah falls on a different day – usually sometime between late November and late December.
An interesting note - much of the world has historically followed lunar calendars - not only the Jews as noted above, but also Muslims, Indians, and Chinese for instance. However starting points seem to vary. So New Year's in India (Diwali) is different than in China and so forth. There's almost a song there somehow......
Peace to all,