Feast of Dedication
The Feast of Dedication, today Hanukkah, once also called "Feast of the Maccabees," was a Jewish festival observed for eight days from the 25th of Kislev (usually in December, but occasionally late November, due to the lunisolar calendar). It was instituted in the year 165 B.C. by Judas Maccabeus, his brothers, and the elders of the congregation of Israel in commemoration of the reconsecration of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and especially of the altar of burnt offerings, after they had been desecrated during the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes (168 BC). The significant happenings of the festival were the illumination of houses and synagogues, a custom probably taken over from the Psalm 30:1-12. J. Wellhausen suggests that the feast was originally connected with the winter solstice, and only afterwards with the events narrated in Maccabees.
The Feast of Dedication is also mentioned in John 10:22 where it mentions Jesus being at the Jerusalem Temple during "the Feast of Dedication" and further notes "and it was winter." The Greek term used in John is "the renewals" (Greek ta engkainia τὰ ἐγκαίνια). Josephus refers to the festival in Greek simply as "lights."