Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev and lasts for eight days and nights. With blessings, games, and festive foods, Hanukkah celebrates the story of a great victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. In 165 BCE, led by the Hasmonean family of Mattathias the High Priest and his youngest son, Judah, the Jews succeeded in evicting the Syrian-Greeks from Israel and restoring and rededicating the Temple.
At the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn all day and all night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days and nights, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle.