In the 2nd century BC, Jerusalem and everything around it was governed by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who abruptly forced other peoples to follow their beliefs, values ​​and culture. It was no different with the Jewish people who, at the time, were banned from practicing the monotheistic religion, had the Holy Temple taken over and was unable to generate oil to maintain the flame of Menorah (sacred chandelier of the Temple) lit.

Hanukkah - which means dedication - is a very special Jewish celebration that celebrates the resumption of Jerusalem and the Temple, led by Yehuda, the Maccabees. The miracle of the oil jar found in the temple after the victory of the Jewish people is also celebrated, whose content would only be enough for 24 hours of lit fire, however, surprisingly, the flame was lit for eight consecutive days, long enough until a new oil could be prepared for such a rite. Because of this miracle, which Hanukkah is also known as the “party of lights”.

The lights

On all 8 nights of the Hanukkah celebration, Hanukkiah candles are lit (9-arm candelabra). Always with a prayer, first the shamash (the attendant candle) and then the number of candles that is equivalent to the day of the party, that is, on the first day the shamash and 1 more candle, on the second day the shamash and 2 more candles, and so on. On the eighth and final night of Hanukkah, all eight candles, plus shamash, are lit. 

The oil

In addition to the lights, in Hanukkah the symbolism of oil is celebrated with a supper of fried foods such as sufganiot - sweet dreams - and latkes - fried pancakes made from potatoes. 

Family and children

In many Jewish festivals there are customs with the purpose of bringing the family together and passing on the traditions. That’s why children in Hanukkah play Sevivon, which is a 4-sided top with the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin, which are the first letters of the sentence “Nes gadol hayá sham” - which in Portuguese translates to: “a great miracle happened there”.


Regardless of the belief, the end of the year parties are perfect for reuniting the family, right ?! So, how about renting a car in Referência to shorten distances? Talk to our reservation center and get to know our packages.

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