- Museum number
Hanukah lamp, brass, sand cast in a vertical triangular design of openwork scrolls, with eight spouted bowls for wicks.
- Production date
Length: 9 inches
- Curator's comments
- The Jewish festival of Hanukah (the Festival of Lights) commemorates the victory of the Maccabeans, in 165 BCE, over the army of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Greek king of Syria, who had attempted to destroy the Jewish religion. The Second Temple had been desecrated by the Greeks, and the festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple by Judah the Maccabee on 25 Kislev 165 BCE, the third anniversary of its desecration. The historical source for the festival is found in 1 Maccabees.
According to tradition, when the Temple was retaken by the Maccabeans, only a single cruse of oil was found, enough to light the Menorah (Temple lamp) for just one day, but miraculously it lasted for eight days, until more oil could be found. To celebrate this miracle, a special lamp with eight lights, a hanukiah, is lit, using a ninth moveable server light (the shammash) to kindle the others. One light is lit on the first night, and another light is added every night until all eight lights are lit on the final evening of the festival.
Hanukah means 'dedication' in Hebrew.
- On display (G46/dc23)
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Hanukah ((Jewish Festival of Lights))
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number