RELIGION

Menorahs Light Up Around The World For Hanukkah 2014

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began at sundown on Dec. 16, 2014 and runs for eight days with menorah lightings and celebrations around the world.

Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C.E. during the Maccabean revolt against oppressive Greek rulers. Jews celebrate the holiday by lighting a nine-branch candelabrum, commonly called a menorah, and by giving gifts and playing a game with a spinning top called a "dreidel."

Take a look at these Hanukkah celebrations around the world:

  • Poland's chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, left, lights the first candle celebrating the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festi
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Poland's chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, left, lights the first candle celebrating the beginning of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, on Grzybowski square in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.
  • The first flames of a a giant Hanukkah Menorah in front of a Christmas tree at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Tuesd
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The first flames of a a giant Hanukkah Menorah in front of a Christmas tree at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 burn at the launch of the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, named Hanukkah.
  • The first lamp of a large scale menorah lights in front of the Brandenburg Gate on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
    Carsten Koall via Getty Images
    The first lamp of a large scale menorah lights in front of the Brandenburg Gate on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
  • German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends the ceremony to light the first lamp of a large scale menorah in front of
    Carsten Koall via Getty Images
    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attends the ceremony to light the first lamp of a large scale menorah in front of the Brandenburg Gate on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
  • STUTTGART, GERMANY - DECEMBER 16:  Jews gather in front of the Neue Schloss for the lighting of the Menorah on the first nigh
    Alex Quesada via Getty Images
    STUTTGART, GERMANY - DECEMBER 16: Jews gather in front of the Neue Schloss for the lighting of the Menorah on the first night of Hannukah on December 16, 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • STUTTGART, GERMANY - DECEMBER 16:  Jews gather in front of the Neue Schloss for the lighting of the Menorah on the first nigh
    Alex Quesada via Getty Images
    STUTTGART, GERMANY - DECEMBER 16: Jews gather in front of the Neue Schloss for the lighting of the Menorah on the first night of Hannukah on December 16, 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Jewish men gather to mark the start of Judaism's festival of light, Hanukkah in central Moscow on December 16, 2014.
    DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV via Getty Images
    Jewish men gather to mark the start of Judaism's festival of light, Hanukkah in central Moscow on December 16, 2014.
  • Jewish men gather to mark the start of Judaism's festival of light, Hanukkah in central Moscow on December 16, 2014.
    DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV via Getty Images
    Jewish men gather to mark the start of Judaism's festival of light, Hanukkah in central Moscow on December 16, 2014.
  • Mayor of the French city of Beziers Robert Ménard (L) lights the first of nine lights on the Hanukkah Menorah as president o
    PASCAL GUYOT via Getty Images
    Mayor of the French city of Beziers Robert Ménard (L) lights the first of nine lights on the Hanukkah Menorah as president of the Beziers Jewish society Maurice Abitbol (R) looks on at the start of the Jewsh festival of Hanukkah at the city hall in Beziers on December 16, 2014.
  • WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 15: Pre-schoolers look at the candles on the menorah, the day before Hanukkah starts, as Adas Israel
    The Washington Post via Getty Images
    WASHINGTON, DC DECEMBER 15: Pre-schoolers look at the candles on the menorah, the day before Hanukkah starts, as Adas Israel Congregation's education director Rabbi Kerrith Rosenbaum talked about the tradition on December 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.
  • CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 08:  A menorah adds to the festive season at Daley Plaza's Christkindlmarket on December 08, 2014 in C
    Chris McKay via Getty Images
    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 08: A menorah adds to the festive season at Daley Plaza's Christkindlmarket on December 08, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Vice President Joe Biden speaks after the national menorah was lit during a ceremony marking the start of the celebration of
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Vice President Joe Biden speaks after the national menorah was lit during a ceremony marking the start of the celebration of Hanukkah, on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
  • JERUSALEM - DECEMBER 16: The menorah of the Hanukkah, nine branched candelabrum is lighted in front of the Western Wall as th
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    JERUSALEM - DECEMBER 16: The menorah of the Hanukkah, nine branched candelabrum is lighted in front of the Western Wall as the sun sets during the Jews' Hanukkah Feast after, in Jerusalem on December 16, 2014.
  • JERUSALEM - DECEMBER 16: Jewish men pray in front the holy Western Wall as the sun sets during the Jews' Hanukkah Feast after
    Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    JERUSALEM - DECEMBER 16: Jewish men pray in front the holy Western Wall as the sun sets during the Jews' Hanukkah Feast after the menorah of the Hanukkah, nine branched candelabrum lighted, in Jerusalem on December 16, 2014.
  • The first lamp of a large scale menorah  in front of the Brandenburg Gate lights after it was lights by Rabbis Yehuda Teichta
    Carsten Koall via Getty Images
    The first lamp of a large scale menorah in front of the Brandenburg Gate lights after it was lights by Rabbis Yehuda Teichtal and German Interior Minist Lothar de Maiziere on December 16, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.
  • Jewish ultra-orthodox children of the Krois family light candles on the second night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, in a
    AHMAD GHARABLI via Getty Images
    Jewish ultra-orthodox children of the Krois family light candles on the second night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, in a religious neighborhood of Jerusalem, on December 17, 2014.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) lights Hanukkah candles during a press conference at the Israeli Museum in Jeru
    GIL COHEN MAGEN via Getty Images
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) lights Hanukkah candles during a press conference at the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem, on December 17, 2014.
  • President Barack Obama, right, and Dr. Adam Levine attend a Hanukkah reception Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in the Grand Foyer o
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    President Barack Obama, right, and Dr. Adam Levine attend a Hanukkah reception Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in the Grand Foyer of the White House.
  • Rebecca Bardach, with the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School in Jerusalem, far left, watches as Inbar Vardi and Mouran I
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Rebecca Bardach, with the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School in Jerusalem, far left, watches as Inbar Vardi and Mouran Ibrahim, who are both students at the school, light candles for the second night of Hanukkah with first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, during the first of two Hanukkah receptions in the Grand Foyer of the White House.
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