The Jewish holiday Hanukkah or as it is called by other name 'Chanukkah', the 'Festival of Lights' or the 'Festival of Rededication' is celebrated from the 25th day of the Jewish month 'Kislev' to the 2nd or 3rd day of 'Tevet'. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the 'Temple in Jerusalem' as described in the Bible in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. It commemorates the victory of Maccabees led by Judah over the Hellenistic Syrians in a revolt that took place around 165 BC.
When Judah Maccabee and his brothers wanted to rededicate the Temple, they discovered that there was only one day's supply of oil, while the Temple menorah, a candelabrum used in Jewish religious ceremonies, was supposed to burn all night, every night. Miraculously, the single day's supply of oil burned for eight days, enough time for more oil to be prepared.
Hanukkah commemorates this miracle happening and a Hanukkah menorah, with nine branches instead of the seven on a regular menorah is used for this purpose. It reminds the Jews of God's wonderful miracles on their behalf. Eight of the candles are lit one by one on each night of Hanukkah, and the ninth candle, known as the 'Shamash' or Srevant candle is lit every night and used to kindle the other candles. Hanukkah is celebrated with traditional prayers and hymns and lighting of candles and is celebrated by a series of series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the eight day holidays. People got to work as usual but return home early to kindle the lights at nightfall. eating fried foods is a common tradition of this festival. people exchange gifts and present fried foods to near and dear ones.
The custom of lighting the Hanukkah candle is the candlebrum should be placed at any prominent place of the house like near windows so that passers by can see and remind the miracles. hanukkah lights are to be burned for atleast one and a half hour after sun down. According to this tradition, the lamps are placed on the opposite side from the mezuzah, so that when one passes through the door he is surrounded by the holiness of mitzvoth.