Hanukkah is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 165 BCE. This eight day festival of lights is one of the most joyous holidays for Jews worldwide; a time of family gathering, gift-giving, and celebration. An important question for Hanukkah-lovers around the world is – When Does Hanukkah Start Every Year?
Hanukkah is observed every year on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, unless a disparity between the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar results in Jewish holidays falling out of sync. Kislev is the third month of the religious Jewish calendar, occurring during the late fall or early winter of the Gregorian calendar. In 2021, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1st, but it will begin on December 12th in 2022. In the more common years when there is not a large discrepancy between the two calendars, Hanukkah usually falls out between late November and late December.
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Calculating Hanukkah’s Date
The Hebrew Calendar
The Hebrew months are determined according to a lunisolar calendar, meaning that the months are determined both by the moon and by the solar cycle. This differs widely from the Gregorian calendar, which follows a solar cycle only. Consequently, the Gregorian calendar months fall out of sync with the Hebrew months, as the lunar/solar cycles of the two systems differ.
Setting the Date
When a disparity between the Gregorian and Hebrew calendars occurs, a Jewish Court (called a “Beit Din”) is convened to recalculate Hanukkah’s date so that it is in sync with the correct Hebrew month. The calculation process includes a complex astronomical analysis, and a thorough consideration of historical records. Once the Beit Din has reconfigured the dates, the Jewish community can rest assured that Hanukkah has been safely repositioned in its true month.
The Year’s Date Will Affect Gifts
In 2021, due to the discrepancy between the calendars, Hanukkah gifts for family and friends will be delayed for some. Chanukah gifts need to be purchased, wrapped, and given from one evening of the holiday to the next (one day’s gift for each night of Hanukkah). Since Hanukkah starts December 1st this year, it’s important to plan ahead and purchase gifts in plenty of time – no waiting until the last minute!
Hanukkah is a joyous holiday celebrated world-wide. While its exact date is difficult to pinpoint, it is typically observed each year in the late fall or early winter by Jews across the globe. Knowing when Hanukkah will start will help families plan for holiday gift-giving as well as all the festivities and celebrations that come along with this sacred occasion.
Lock in the date and start your Hanukkah-season shopping!
- What Day Of The Year Does The Hanukkah Celebration Start?
- When Does Hanukkah Start Each Year?
- What Date Does Hanukkah Start This Year?
- Why Does Hanukkah Start On A Different Day Each Year?
- What Day Does Hanukkah Start This Year?
- When Does Hanukkah Start This Year?
- Why Does Hanukkah Start On Different Day?
- When Time Does Hanukkah Start?
- Why Does The Date Of Hanukkah Change Every Year?
- What Date Does Hanukkah Start?
- When Does Hanukkah Start On The Jewish Calendar?
- What Month Does Hanukkah Start?
- When Is Hanukkah Each Year?
- When Is Hanukkah Next Year?
- Why Is Hanukkah Different Days Each Year?
Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.