Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival of lights which celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem during the Hellenistic period. The festival is observed by the lighting of a nine-branched candelabrum, called the Menorah, one additional light being lit on each night of the festival. Therefore, the main question arises: What Determines The First Day Of Hanukkah?
How is the First Day of Hanukkah Determined?
The exact date on which Hanukkah begins each year varies because the Jewish calendar is a lunar one. This means the festival usually takes place between the 25th of November and the 30th of December.
Hanukkah is always observed at the same time of year according to the Hebrew calendar, regardless of which day of the week it falls on. The season of Hanukkah lasts for eight days and it is always celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.
The Jewish calendar is a lunar one, meaning the month begins with the first visible sighting of the new moon and the year begins with the month of Nisan.
The date of the 25th of Kislev corresponds to different days in the Gregorian calendar, but is always the same day in the Hebrew calendar.
Calculating the Date of Hanukkah in the Gregorian Calendar
To calculate the date of Hanukkah in the Gregorian calendar:
- Step One: Check the Hebrew date of Kislev 25.
- Step Two: Calculate how many days separate Kislev 25 from Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
- Step Three: Add the number of days between Kislev 25 and Rosh Hashanah to the date of the Gregorian New Year.
- Step Four: Subtract an extra day unless the Hebrew month of Kislev is a leap year.
The Miracle of Lights
Hanukkah is celebrated to mark the miracle of lights. During the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in 165 BC, the Jews rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem. According to legend, after the Temple was liberated and rededicated, a single flask of pure lamp oil was found. Miraculously, it was enough to light the Temple’s menorah continuously for eight days. This event is the origin of the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah.
In conclusion, Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival of lights which celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem during the Hellenistic period. The exact date on which Hanukkah begins each year varies because the Jewish calendar is a lunar one and it is always celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Hanukkah is observed by lighting a nine-branched menorah, one additional light being lit on each night of the festival, to commemorates the miracle of the oil, which lasted eight days.
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Last update 2023-11-21. Price and product availability may change.