Hanukkah is a holiday that lasts 8 days and lights the way towards a festive season of Jewish celebration. Each day provides an opportunity for families and friends to come together to celebrate, remember the ancient Miracle of the Oil, and celebrate the triumph of good over evil. But what day of Hanukkah are we in?
The Jewish calendar is a lunar one, meaning that the dates change each year. Each year, Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which usually falls in November or December. This year, Hanukkah began on the evening of December 10th and will end on December 18th.
So, today is the fifth day of Hanukkah. On this day, we light the fifth candle of the menorah—the chanukiah. We say the blessings from the Siddur (prayer book) and share stories of the historic Maccabean Revolt. We celebrate this day with music, food, and the exchange of gifts.
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The Maccabees and the Miracle of the Oil
The ancient story of Hanukkah is one of a heroic revolt against oppressive rulers, when a small band of Jewish patriots, known as the Maccabees, fought to reclaim the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. About two centuries before the birth of Jesus, King Antiochus IV of Syria declared that all Jews must accept Greek ways of life and worship its gods.
During this time, the Maccabees took an oath to reclaim the Holy Temple and rededicate it. The Maccabees defeated Antiochus’ armies and purified the Holy Temple. When they searched for enough pure oil to light the menorah for one night, they only found one small cruse, enough for one night’s lightning. Miraculously, this small cruse burned for eight days and nights—the time needed for more oil to be prepared.
Throughout the 8 nights of Hanukkah, Jewish families commemorate the miracle of the oil by lighting the menorah, singing songs of praise, sharing gifts, playing traditional Hanukkah games such as dreidel, and enjoying traditional Latke or Sufganiya.
The menorah is an important symbol of the holiday. It holds 9 candles—8 for each night of Hanukkah and the ninth candle is called the shamash, which is used to light the other candles. The candles of the menorah are lit in a special blessing each night, from right to left. On the first night, one candle is lit. On the second night, two candles are lit, and this continues until all eight candles are lit.
The popular dreidel game is a traditional game played on Hanukkah. The dreidel is a 4-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters represent the phrase, Nes Gadol Haya Sham, which means “a great miracle happened there”. Players use gelt (coins or chocolate coins) as the game pieces and the object of the game is to accumulate as much of the coins as possible.
Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil and is celebrated with joy by Jewish families all around the world. Throughout these 8 days, we recall the miraculous victory of good over evil and how God watches over his people. Each night of Hanukkah, families come together to light the menorah, share in traditional customs, and make special memories. So, today is the fifth day of Hanukkah!
- What Day Are We In Hanukkah?
- What Day Are We On For Hanukkah?
- What Day Of Hanukkah Are We On?
- What Day Is Today In Hanukkah?
- In What Order Are The Hanukkah Candles Lit?
- How Many Day In Hanukkah?
- How Many Candles Are There In Hanukkah?
- How Many Candles Are Lit On The First Day Of Hanukkah?
- How Many Days Are Celebrated In Hanukkah?
- How Many Candles Are In Hanukkah?
- How Many Nights Are There In Hanukkah?
- What Are Some Traditions In Hanukkah?
- What Day Is It In Hanukkah?
- What Are The Candles For In Hanukkah?
- In What Order Are Hanukkah Candles Lit?
Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.