History of Hanukkah For Kids?

Hanukkah is celebrated every year by Jewish people around the world. It is observed starting on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and lasts eight days and nights. It is a festive holiday to commemorate miraculous events that happened many centuries ago.
I have to explain the history Hanukkah to my class of little kids. How can I explain the history of Hanukkah to them in a way they understand it?
Kids can be difficult sometimes

asked by Kathleen in Holidays | 6005 views | 12-11-2009 at 10:38 PM

I found this at theholidayspot.com, it explains the history of Hanukkah to kids:

The holiday originated when Judah the Maccabee and his followers reclaimed the temple in the village of Modi'in from Syrian King Antiochus IV. The temple was cleansed and prepared for rededication. The Hebrew word Hanukkah means "dedication." When the sacred temple Menorah (candelabra) was relit, there was only enough sacred oil to burn for one day. Yet, according to tradition, the oil miraculously lasted eight days until more purified oil could be found.

A lesser known story from the Apocrypha tells of the beautiful
widow Judith who plied enemy Assyrian General Holofernes with cheese and wine until he fell into a drunken stupor. Judith beheaded the general in his sleep, and his soldiers fled in fear, thus saving her people from the Assyrians. This story is the subject of much renowned artwork.

In remembrance, a candle is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Children receive gifts of gelt (in remembrance of the coins minted by the new independent Maccabee state) or money and play games of dreidel (a spinning four-sided top.) The tradition of receiving a gift on each of the eight days of Hanukkah is fairly recent. Since Christians exchange gifts at Christmas, Jews have come to exchange gifts other than coins at Hanukkah, which comes at the same time of the year.

Hanukkah is a celebration of joy for the Jews that has endured centuries of strife and conflict. It is a time to remember the past and look into the future.

answered by Meghan | 12-11-2009 at 10:42 PM

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