Hanukkah, which means dedication for the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem, is an interesting festival that can be an inspiration for creating a video. This is a celebration that grows out from love and loyalty to community and religion. Known as the Festival of Lights, the purpose of celebrating Hanukkah in Israel is very inspiring.
According to the Hebrew calendar, the festival is celebrated starting on the 25th day of Kislev. In the Gregorian calendar, on the other hand, the festival, which also known as the Feast of Dedication, may take place at any time from late November to late December. Last year, Hanukkah was celebrated on December 8. Its closeness to Christmas contributes to the popularity of Hanukkah. In addition, the gift-giving tradition has also brought attention to the festival which is similar to the Yuletide season in the Christian world. The cheerful holiday is a celebration of two important events: when the Maccabees triumphantly defeated the Greek army and victoriously reclaimed the temple on Jerusalem’s Mount Moriah and the oil that can only light the great candelabra or menorah for one day but miraculously lasted for eight days.
Religious practices as well as the study of Torah, the Hebrew name for the five books of Moses, were prohibited over 2,200 years ago. Jews in Judea, now known as Israel, suffered at the hands of the oppressive ruler Antiochus IV that led the religious Jews in the region to take matters into their own hands. The rebel armies was initially led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and became known as the Maccabees because Mattathias’ son Judah the Maccabee later led the armies. The fight lasted for three years and they came out victorious even though they were vastly outnumbered.
After they defeated the Greek army, Judah the Maccabee and his followers went to Jerusalem to rededicate the temple and found just enough purified oil to light the menorah. What happened next was a miracle that allowed the light to continue to burn for eight days. This is the reason why it is an eight-day Jewish holiday and traditional Hanukkah food cooked in oil takes center stage. Do not miss the opportunity to indulge in oily, fried foods during this celebration.
It is apparent that Hanukkah celebrates the victory – both religious and military – of ancient Jewish heroes. Celebrating the occasion in Israel provides the Jewish and non-Jewish people a chance to witness interesting performances at school commemorating the triumphs of their ancestors in protecting their community and religion. Like any other holidays around the world, Hanukkah also includes music and dance shows, arts and cultural events in different places and delectable street food you cannot resist. In fact, several big production of children’s shows takes place during this time of the year. These events are rich sources for film artists who wish to take footages of this solemn yet colorful celebration.
There are also popular destinations that many people love to visit including Jerusalem and the Modiin area, where the story of Hanukkah happened. Mea Sharim, which is a religious Jerusalem neighborhood, is one of the most visited places during the festival because many Hanukkah menorahs are on display here. The Maccabean graves are located near Modiin and have also become a meaningful attraction. In Israel, it is highly recommended to visit the archaeological site of Bet Guvrin. During the week of Hanukkah, there are shows and activities for the whole family. Shopping centers also have public lightings. Film artists might also want to take footage of the traditional singing of Mao Tzur and other songs.
The lighting of the menorah, a candle stand with nine branches, is the most important Hanukkah tradition. One branch signifies the lighting candle and the other eight branches are for each day of the festival. Each evening one candle is lit and it is a common sight that every family has a menorah at home. Families with children have multiple menorahs because the kids also insist on lighting their own hanukiyah.
Hanukkah dreidel, a four-sided spinning top, also plays a very important role before the revolution. In order to conceal their religious studies, Jews used the Hanukkah dreidel to quickly pretend that they had only been playing . The dreidel has a Hebrew letter on each side; nun, gimmel, hey, and peh, which means that “a great miracle happened here”. Bringing the Hanukkah history to life is truly a remarkable experience for every Jew on the planet. And regardless of race, culture and religion, it is important to accept and embrace the fact that everyone is unique and different. Hanukkah can absolutely offer a unique and different experience not only to the people of Israel, but to the rest of the world’s population as well.