The Israeli community in Rwanda gathered on Monday evening to celebrate Hanukkah, a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the second temple in the 2nd century BC after the Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. ALSO READ: Israel donates 20 cows to vulnerable families in Burera District Hanukkah 2022 began in the evening of December 18 and will end in the evening of December 26. To mark the festival, the Israeli embassy invited government officials and diplomatic corps based in Kigali to take part in the celebrations that were hosted at The Retreat Hotel in Kigali. According to Israeli ambassador to Rwanda, Ron Adam, the Hanukkah festival is the main event they do as an embassy in a year for the diplomats. “We invited government officials and diplomatic corps in Kigali,” he said. “We do the event to connect our recent national history to the long years of tradition, religion and history that goes back to over 3600 years ago. That's the idea,” he added. ALSO READ: Israel wishes Rwandans a Happy Liberation Day The guests who took part in the celebration witnessed the lighting of candles of a nine-branched candelabrum (commonly called a menorah), which is one of the key activities done during Hanukkah. Adam took time to explain to them the history of the festival, expounding how a Greek monarchy destroyed the Jewish temple in 168 BC, outlawed Judaism and killed many people. A revolt by the Jews in reaction to what the Greeks had done ensued. In 165 BC, the Jewish revolt against the Greek monarchy became successful and the temple was recaptured, liberated and rededicated. The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to celebrate this event, Adam narrated. Hanukkah is celebrated by Jewish people across the world.