The Jewish Feast of the Dedication, instituted by Judas Maccabæus, his brothers, and the whole congregation of Israel, in 165 b. c., to commemorate the dedication of the new altar set up at the purification of the temple of Jerusalem to replace the altar which had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria (1 Maccabees i. 58, iv. 59). The feast, which is mentioned in John x. 22, is held for eight days (beginning with the 25th day of Kislev, corresponding to December), and is celebrated everywhere, chiefly as a festival of lights, by the Jews.
or Chanukah (Hebrew) — Eight-day festival starting on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev commemorating the rededication of the Temple at Jerusalem that followed the Maccabees' victory over the Syrians in 165 B.C.; also called the "Festival of Lights." See hanukkiah, Maccabees.
Heb. (Festival of Lights) An eight-day Festival of Freedom beginning on the 25th day of Kislev that commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the overthrow of the Greeks (i.e., Syrians) by the Hasmonean family in the first century B.C.E.