The Jewish festival of Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in 165 BCE after its desecration by Antiochus IV. The priests had only enough oil to keep the eternal flame lit for one day, but miraculously, it burned for eight days.
Jews around the world commemorate this miracle by lighting consecutively one more menorah candle every day for the eight days of Hannukah. In 2012 the holiday is celebrated from sundown December 8 through sundown December 16.
Fried foods are traditional as a reminder of the Miracle of the Oil. Potato pancakes, or latkes, and jelly donuts called sufganiyot are especially popular. Chocolate coins called gelt are often handed out to children as Hanukkah gifts.
Try these recipes for Hanukkah.
(Israeli Jewish potato pancakes)
(Israeli Jewish filled donuts)
(Israeli Jewish braised brisket)
(Jewish batter-fried apple rings)