Hanukkah is one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar. As a momentous holiday of enduring faith and miraculous victory, Hanukkah is celebrated around the world with a variety of customs. Each year, the joyous festival begins on the 25th of Kislev, a lunar month that typically falls in either November or December. So, the question remains, what day does Hanukkah fall on this year?
This year, Hanukkah will take place from sundown on Thursday, December 10th and will continue through sundown on Friday, December 18th. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after it was desecrated by the Syrian-Greeks. The 8-day holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days.
The 8-day celebration is marked by the lighting of a special menorah, the nightly recitation of prayers in the synagogue, latkes, jelly doughnuts, fried sweets, and general merrymaking. The menorah, also known as the Hanukkiah, consists of 9 candleholders – one larger one flanked by 8 others, in which each night of the holiday a candle is added. The ninth holder is known as the shamash, or helper, and is designated for lighting the other candles. The shape of the menorah, a symbol of the Hanukkah miracle, serves as a reminder to people of the unsurpassable power of God.
In addition to lighting the Hanukkiah, the holiday is also traditionally celebrated by playing festive games. The traditional game of dreidel is played by spinning the dreidel, a four-sided top inscribed with a Hebrew letter on each side. Each letter stands for one of the four phrases “Nazareth will come yet,” “A great miracle happened here,” “A great miracle happened there” and “Nothing happened.” Each of these words have a specific game-related consequence associated with them.
The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, is a unique holiday that brings family, friends, and communities together in celebration of a miracle during uncertain times. This year Hanukkah will begin on the evening of December 10th and will conclude on December 18th, a time dedicated to lighting Hanukkiahs, playing dreidel, eating latkes and giving gifts.
No matter what holiday you celebrate, the holiday season can be filled with love, goodness, generosity, kindness and understanding, all of which Hanukkah encourages us to embrace. Though we live in a world of division and fear, the Festival of Lights symbolizes our hope for the future and should serve as a reminder of our personal and collective power to bring light, prosperity and joy into our lives.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.