The Jewish Festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, which is an eight-day holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing upward to eight on the final night. (One extra candle called the shamash candle is present to provide light as needed throughout the holiday.)
By 165 BCE the Jewish revolt against the Seleucid monarchy was successful and the Temple, which had been desecrated, was subsequently liberated and purified. According to the Talmud, olive oil was needed for the menorah in the rededicated Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that there was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared by the Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle.