Hanukkah Celebrations around the world begin on December 10th

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The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the jewish resistance against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the second century B.C. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.

Jewish religion and culture can be traced back to Semitic tribes that lived in the Middle East approximately 4,000 years ago. The Babylonian exile in 586 B.C. marked the beginning of major dispersals of Jewish populations from the Middle East and the development of various Jewish communities outside of present-day Israel. Today, Jews belong to several communities that can be classified according to the location where each community developed. Among others, these include the Middle Eastern communities of former Babylonia and Palestine, the Jewish communities of North Africa and the Mediterranean Basin, and Ashkenazi communities of central and eastern Europe. The history of the Jewish Diaspora—the numerous migrations of Jewish populations and their subsequent residence in various countries in Europe, North Africa, and West Asia—has resulted in a complex set of genetic relationships among Jewish populations and their non-Jewish neighbors.

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