Every year Hanukkah celebrates a miraculous victory over those who tried to destroy the Jewish faith. The first candle of Hanukkah is lit to commemorate the beginning of the Jewish holiday, which symbolizes the miracles associated with the victory of the Maccabees. While the festival usually begins on the 25th of Kislev, the night the first candle is lit follows a precise timeline.
When To Light The First Candle For Hanukkah
When it comes to lighting the first candle of Hanukkah, it is important to remember that the contemporary practice is to light it when it is dark outside. This means that the timing of when to light the first candle depends on the location, as it is dusk later in the day in some areas and earlier in other areas. Ideally, the first candle should be lit after completing the appropriate evening prayers and blessings, usually when it is dark enough that it is considered nightfall and the stars are visible in the sky.
Order Of The Blessing When Lighting The First Candle
When the first candle is ready to be lit, it is important to make sure that you include the blessing to sanctify it. This blessings consists of three parts in the following order:
- Lighting Blessing: This blessing is said when you first pick up the Hanukkah candles and the Shamash:
- Blessing Over The Hanukkah Candles: This blessing is said when the candles have been lit:
- Shehecheyanu Blessing: This blessing is said to praise G-d for giving us life and helping us celebrate the holiday:
After saying the appropriate blessings for each candle lit, one should then display the Hanukkah menorah in a window facing the street. This is so that it is visible to passers-by and to bring the light of the menorah further out into the world.
The first candle of Hanukkah marks the beginning of a joyous eight day festival that remembers and celebrates the miracles that happened long ago. While the night of when the first candle is lit is defined by the location and when the stars come out, one should always follow the right blessings in order to properly sanctify the candle before lighting it. Moreover, don’t forget to show off the menorah by displaying it in a window facing the street, to increase the light of the holiday into the world.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.