The chanukiyah is lit each of the eight nights of Chanukah, in honour of the miracle of a tiny jar of oil, sufficient to light the menorah for one day, burning for a full eight days. It is traditional to eat foods prepared with oil, such as potato latkes and sufganiyot (Israeli-style donuts filled with jelly).
Dairy dishes such as cheese latkes are also customary. The Jewish heroine Judith helped secure a victory for the Jewish forces by slaying Holofernes, the vicious general of the Greek army. She gave him salty cheese to eat, followed by strong wine to quench his thirst. The wine caused him to fall into a deep sleep. Judith seized the sword of Holofernes and slew him with it. His soldiers fled, resulting in the victory of the Macabees.