The festival instituted to commemorate the purging of the temple and the rebuilding of the altar after Judas Maccabbeus had driven out the Syrians, B.C. 164. 1 Macc. 4:52-59. It is named only once in the canonical Scriptures. (John 10:22) It commenced on the 25th of Chisleu (early in December), the anniversary of the pollution of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, B.C. 167. Like the great Mosaic feasts, it lasted eight days, but it did not require attendance at Jerusalem. It was an occasion of much festivity, and was celebrated in nearly the same manner as the feast of tabernacles, with the carrying of branches of trees and with much singing. In the temple at Jerusalem the "Hallel" was sung every day of the feast.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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