Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that marks the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Celebrated for eight nights and days, it begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and is usually in December. So, when does Hanukkah start this year?
This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Sunday, December 22nd and ends on Monday, December 30th. The holiday starts at sunset and culminates in a special menorah lighting ceremony on the final day.
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What is the Daily Ritual of Celebrating Hanukkah?
The daily ritual of celebrating Hanukkah is to light the Hanukkah menorah (also known as the “chanukiah”), recite a special blessing, sing traditional Hanukkah songs, enjoy a festive meal, and exchange small presents.
The Order of Rituals
In Judaism, all rituals have an order. Here is the order you should follow when celebrating Hanukkah:
1. Light the Hanukkah candles.
2. Recite the blessings over the candles.
3. Make the ritual blessings over wine/grape juice and bread.
Songs & Stories
1. Sing traditional Hanukkah songs.
2. Exhange gifts and snacks, if desired.
3. Read stories from the Talmud or other religious sources.
1. Have a festive meal.
2. Recite the grace after meals.
The Significance of the Festival
The holiday of Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the much larger Syrian-Greek army- something that could be attributed only to a miracle. The miracle is that despite the Maccabees having only a tiny flask of ritually pure oil, they were able to light the Menorah in the Temple for 8 nights. In recognition of this miraculous sign from God, a central part of the ritual is the lighting of the menorah every night for 8 days.
In conclusion, Hanukkah this year starts on the evening of Sunday, December 22nd and ends on Monday, December 30th. The daily ritual consists of reciting blessings, singing traditional songs, exchanging gifts, and having a festive meal. The festival celebrates the miraculous victory of the Maccabees who were able to cleanse and rededicate the Second Temple with just a tiny flask of oil, and the menorah is lit each night for 8 days.
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Last update 2023-11-23. Price and product availability may change.