With one of the largest retail networks in the UK, Post Office branches serve customers from diverse communities. Many customers and teams in branch will be celebrating the Jewish festival of lights called Hanukkah (or Chanukah) next week. The festivities last for eight days, beginning this year in the evening of Sunday 22 December and ending in the evening of Monday 30 December.
The word Hanukkah means “re-dedication” and celebrates one of the greatest miracles in Jewish history. It commemorates the time a group of Jewish people called the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
When the Maccabees were in the temple, they discovered that the oil that was meant to last for one day lasted for eight. During Hanukkah Jewish people light a special type of menorah called a Hanukkah to represent the miracle.
How is Hanukkah celebrated?
Hanukkah is a fun time for children, as they will receive gifts and Hanukkah money. Some families give each other a small present on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah.
The holiday is also celebrated by lighting an eight-branched candlestick called a Hanukkah.
Traditionally, there is a special game that children and adults play together. It involves a spinning top called a dreidel, which is a cube-shaped dice with a Hebrew letter on each of the four sides.
Hanukkah is a great time for eating delicious food. Some dishes have special meaning, such as latkes (which are a kind of potato fritter), pancakes and doughnuts. This is because they are fried in oil and so, by preparing and eating this food, Jewish people remember the miracle of the oil lasting eight days in the temple.
Happy Hanukkah to postmasters, branch teams and customers celebrated this festival.