Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday celebrated around the world, and each year many people ask, “What time is Hanukkah?” The answer isn’t simple because the Jewish calendar, and therefore Hanukkah, follows the moons cycles rather than the sun. This article will explain what time Hanukkah falls each year, what it symbolizes, and some history and traditions associated with the Festival of Lights.
What is the timing of Hanukkah?
Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25th day of Kislev and ends on the evening of the third Hazor (Hebrew day). The Hebrew calendar’s date of Kislev 25 fluctuates each year because it follows the moons cycle. On the Gregorian calendar, Hanukkah usually occurs between the end of November and the end of December. To give an example, Hanukkah 2020 or 5781, was from December 10th through the evening of December 18th.
What does Hanukkah symbolize?
Hanukkah is a joyously celebrated holiday that symbolizes the miracle of the Maccabees prevailing over their oppressors and rededicating the temple. It is also known as the “Festival of Lights” as it commemorates the burning of oil, which was only expected to last one night yet lasted for 8 nights. To remind us of this phenomenon, every family lights one shamash (candle) the first night, and another one each night thereafter until we have 8 lights (one for each of the 8 nights). We also recite a special blessing each night.
What are the customs and rituals associated with Hanukkah?
One of the most important customs is to light the Menorah every night of Hanukkah. A Menorah is a special candelabra with either 9 or 7 branches in Jewish tradition. Families either light the Menorah, a modified Hanukkiah, or a candle, all synchronized with each other. Modern Hanukkiahs are pre-loaded with candles so a single candle serves as a kind of switch for the rest.
In addition to the lighting, it is customary to give and receive gifts over the 8 days, play the traditional game of Dreidel, and eat delicious food such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts).
Hanukkah is an important holiday in Jewish tradition and is celebrated every year throughout the world. It is a holiday of joy and celebration and is celebrated by the lighting of a special kind of candelabra, playing traditional games, exchanging gifts, and eating traditional food. Hanukkah falls on different days each year on the Gregorian calendar as it follows the moons cycles and usually occurs between the end of November and the end of December.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.