The celebration of Hanukkah is one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays in the world. Every year, millions of Jews across the globe come together to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and honor the miracles associated with it. One of the first questions people ask when preparing to celebrate the holiday is: what month is Hanukkah celebrated?
Hanukkah is celebrated each year during the Hebrew month of Kislev, which, depending on the Hebrew calendar, can correspond to different dates each year in the Gregorian calendar. Generally, however, Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev and lasts for eight nights and nine days. This year, 2020, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Thursday, December 10th and ends on the evening of Friday, December 18th.
The month of Kislev is mentioned directly only three times in the Hebrew Bible; in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zechariah. Kislev is the third month of the Jewish religious calendar, meaning that it comes after Tishrei and Heshvan. Each month, the new moon marks the start of a new month. As might be expected, this changes the exact date of each Jewish holiday in the Gregorian calendar each year.
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When Does Hanukkah Occur?
In order to determine when Hanukkah is celebrated each year, you must look at the Hebrew calendar. To explain, the Hebrew calendar uses a lunar system, whereby each month corresponds with the sighting of the new moon. Therefore, the date of Hanukkah changes each year depending on the Gregorian calendar dates of the month of Kislev. This year, 2020, Hanukkah is celebrated from December 10th through December 18th.
How is Hanukkah Celebrated?
Hanukkah is usually celebrated with family and friends. Traditional ceremonies vary across the globe, but are usually very festive. Typically, families celebrate by eating traditional foods like latkes, lighting the Hanukiah (a special Hanukkah menorah), playing traditional games like dreidel, and exchanging gifts, often given out on each night of the eight-day festivities.
A traditional food eaten on Hanukkah is latkes, which are potato pancakes that are fried in oil. As mentioned before, Hanukkah is a celebration of the miracle of oil. The tradition of eating latkes is derived from the story of Judith of Betulia who saved her village from the Syrian Greek Army by feeding them latkes made from cheese and olives instead of meat. Because her courage and faith in God reflected the miracle of the Temple’s oil. The Jews approved her actions and began making latkes as a way to commemorate both her act and the miracle of the oil that kept the Temple lit for eight days.
Another tradition enjoyed on Hanukkah is the lighting of the special Hanukiah, or “Hanukkah menorah”. This is a nine-branched candelabra, with one branch designated to commemorate the Shamash (“servant”) which is used to light the other eight branches. A candle is lit each night for the eight nights of Hanukkah and is usually placed in a window or doorway so that passers-by can share the joy and happiness of the Chanukah celebration.
The dreidel is a four-sided top with hebrew letters on each side. It’s an ancient game that’s played by children and adults alike on Hanukkah. The letters are nun, gimmel, hei and shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham”, which translates to “A great miracle happened there”.
Every year, millions of people around the world come together to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is a special holiday that brings families, friends and strangers together to commemorate the miraculous rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and honor the miracles associated with it. Hanukkah is celebrated each year during the Hebrew month of Kislev and usually falls sometime in December in the Gregorian calendar. During the course of celebrations, families participate in traditional activities such as eating latkes, lighting the Hanukiah and playing dreidel. Hanukkah is a joyous and festive holiday in which we can all share; a special time of the year to experience and remember the joyous miracles that remind us of the faith and courage of our ancestors.
- What Hebrew Month Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- What Month Is Hanukkah?
- What Month Does Hanukkah Start?
- When Is Hanukkah Usually Celebrated?
- When Is Hanukkah Celebrated Each Year?
- How Many Nights Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- What Is Hanukkah And Why Is It Celebrated?
- What Determines When Hanukkah Is Celebrated?
- When Is Hanukkah Celebrated This Year?
- When Is Hanukkah Celebrated Every Year?
- Why Is Hanukkah Celebrated On Different Days?
- When Does Hanukkah Start And How Long Is It Celebrated?
- What Is Hanukkah And How Is It Celebrated?
- What Days Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- How Many Days Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.