Hanukkah, the annual Jewish Festival of Lights, overlaps with Christmas this year—an occurrence that hasn’t happened since 1978 and won’t take place again until 2027.
The Jewish winter holiday, which is also spelled Chanukah, begins this year on Dec. 24 and lasts eight days until Jan. 1, 2017. It is celebrated, in part, by the lighting of a menorah each night. Doing so represents the eight nights a small supply of oil miraculously lasted for a small group of Jewish people in 165 B.C. fighting to defeat the Greek army.
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Celebrants also often mark the occasion by eating fried foods like latkes, playing children’s games, including the dreidel, and exchanging gifts.