How Hanukkah Works

The eight-night celebration of Hanukkah includes symbols like the hanukkiah, doughnuts and dreidels. Karaidel/iStock/Thinkstock

Every year, usually in mid- to late-December on the Western calendar, Kislev 25 on the Hebrew calendar, Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah. Also known as the Festival of Lights, the holiday remembers one particular instance of triumph over religious persecution, when the Jews were able to escape oppression at the hands of Antiochus, a Syrian king.

To people who aren't Jewish, Hanukkah is often the most well-known of the Jewish holidays. Hanukkah does not have as much religious importance as the Jewish High Holidays -- Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- but it is one of the most entertaining holidays on the Jewish calendar for adults and children alike. In this article, you'll learn the basics of the Hanukkah celebration.