he day: Kislev 25 in the Jewish calendar. The event: Chanukah. The world over, Jews are lighting the first candles and wishing friends and family "Happy Chanukah." This tradition commemorates an event that occurred over twenty-one centuries ago. The Maccabees, a Jewish sect, had just won a victory over Antiochus of Syria. When they returned to the Temple to rededicate it, they found it had been almost destroyed and found only enough oil to light the menorah, the holy candelabrum, for one day. But then a miracle happened. The oil bumed for eight days, not one, just long enough until new oil could be provided. Today, Jews around the world celebrate Chanukah throughout those eight days. Each night, an additional candle is lighted in the menorah, using the shammas or helper candle, which stands higher than all the rest. On the eighth day, all candles are burning. The lighting of the candles during Chanukah occurs in hopes of planting seeds of light that can carry forth God-saving spirit and human courage throughout the world. A celebration follows. Traditionally the children receive gifts as an award for studying the Torah during the year. They play Dreidel, a form of "spin the top." They win special prizes of gelt or chocolate covered coins, whole walnuts and sesame candies. The whole family celebrates by singing songs, opening presents and enjoying traditional foods. Foods fried in oil are common, like latkes or pancakes made with grated potatoes and Bimuelos or small doughnut puffs rolled in cinnamon sugar. There are other foods too, like dried fruit compotes...aromatic tea spiced with citrus peel, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves...fresh pink applesauce made with impeded apples...butter cookies cut in the six- pointed Star of David and decorated with blue frosting. When you visit friends and family this year, surprise them with one of these traditional foods, packed to travel in a tight-sealing food container. You'll want to keep the doughnuts fresh, the cookies crisp and the juicy compote safe from spills. On the eighth day of Chanukah all candles on the menorah are lit to commemorate this Jewish holiday. Then a celebration includes games, singing, presents and festive foods. Rubbermaid's tight-sealing Servin' Saver™ Food Containers help keep these traditional foods fresh. STAR BUTTER COOKIES Prepare your favorite old-fashioned sugar cookie dough, cut into six-pointed stars and bake. When cool, frost with blue and white icing, then sprinkle with granulated sugar tinted with blue food coloring. Store and tote in a tight-closing plastic food container. BIMVELOS (Doughnut Puffs) Thaw a one-pound package of frozen bread dough. Cut into 2-inch squares or triangles. Heat 1-inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry doughnuts until puffy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Mix 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon into 1 cup granulated sugar in a medium-size bowl; toss doughnuts to coat. Store and tote in tight-sealing plastic food container. Makes about 24 doughnut puffs. AVNT SOPHIE'S FRUIT COMPOTE Place in a medium-size saucepan: 4'/2 cups water, 2 packages (11 ounces each) mixed dried fruits, 1 large peeled orange cut crosswise into slices, !/3 cup brandy, !/3 cup honey, 3 three-inch cinnamon sticks and 12 whole cloves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves. Serve warm. To store, refrigerate in a tight- sealing 2.3-quart plastic bowl. Makes about 2 quarts.