Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th day of the Jewish month Kislev. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek army and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The name Hanukkah means “Dedication” in Hebrew, and it is a joyous holiday that includes singing and the exchange of gifts. One of the most important aspects of Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum which has one candle for each night of the holiday. So when is the first day of Hanukkah this year?
The first day of Hanukkah this year is on Thursday, November 28, 2019, and it will end on Friday, December 6, 2019. The day before the first night of Hanukkah is known as Erev Hanukkah. On that day in the evening, a special candle-lighting ceremony is conducted in which the blessing of the holiday is said, and the Menorah is lit for the first time. This ceremony takes place in the home and must only be done at night in order to be considered valid.
On the first night of Hanukkah, the Menorah is lit with two candles, which is referred to as Shamash, the ‘Attendant’ Candle. This candle is used to light the others one by one until all eight candles are burning. An additional candle is added for each night of Hanukkah, until the Menorah is fully lit with all eight candles after the eighth night.
The traditional greeting on Hanukkah is “Chag Hanukkah Sameach”, which means “Happy Hanukkah”. Gifts such as money, chocolate coins are exchanged, and traditional Hanukkah foods are eaten such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). As a part of Hanukkah, the traditional Jewish game of dreidel is played.
Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday that brings joy and celebration. It is celebrated for eight days, starting from the 25th day of Kislev. The first night of Hanukkah is marked by a special candle-lighting ceremony with the Menorah, the holiday greeting of ‘Happy Hanukkah’, exchanging gifts and eating traditional foods. Each night of Hanukkah, an additional candle is added to the Menorah until it is fully lit on the eighth night to signify the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek army. This year, the first day of Hanukkah will take place on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
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