Hanukkah, also spelled Chanukah, is a festive holiday celebrated by the Jewish people lasting for eight days each year. The holiday is a joyous occasion that is celebrated with the traditional lighting of a special menorah that is lit for eight nights. This year, the first night of Hanukkah starts on December 22, 2020.
Hanukkah marks the redediction of the holy Temple in Jerusalem that was reclaimed from the Seleucid Antiochus IV in 165 BC. According to the Talmud, the Temple’s menorah was never able to stay lit for long due to the small amount of oil that the Jews were able to find. However, miraculously miraculously the small one day supply of oil burned for 8 days. To commemorate this miracle, Hanukkah is celebrated for 8 days.
The holiday itself has special traditions such as the lighting of a special menorah called a “hanukiah,” spinning a four sided top called a dreidel, giving charity to the needy known as “tzedakah”, and of course eating traditional foods such as sufganiyot (doughnuts), and latkes (potato pancakes).
The main observance of the festival is the lighting of candles in the hanukiah. On the first night of Hanukkah, there is a traditional blessing recited over the first candle. One candle is added each night, until all eight are lit on the eighth night. The ninth candle is the shammes, a special candle that is used to light the other eight.
The first night of Hanukkah this year, 2020, falls on Thursday December 22. The observance of the first night of the holiday should start between sundown on December 22 and sundown on December 23. Different customs suggest different times — some start the candlelighting with the time sundown begins, while others wait for nightfall.
Hanukkah is a joyous celebration that is commemorated throughout the world. The festival of lights is celebrated for 8 days with special blessings, foods, games, and traditions. This year, the first night of Hanukkah is on Thursday December 22, 2020, and will be celebrated throughout the world.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.