Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday celebrated by Jews around the world. This joyful holiday celebrates the victory of the Maccabees and commemorates the miracle of a single day’s worth of oil lasting for eight days. It is a time of great significance that is celebrated with family, friends and of course, plenty of delicious foods and games. One of the essential questions in anticipating the celebration of Hanukkah is “when is Hanukkah on the Jewish calendar?”
The Jewish Calendar
The Jewish calendar is a lunar-based calendar that is adjusted to the solar year. Installed by Moses and Joshua, this calendar was the primary system of keeping time among Jews since the 2nd century BC. The Hebrew calendar is based around the cycles of the moon which is why it is sometimes referred to as a lunar calendar. This means that the length of each month is adjusted from 29–30 days depending on the visibility of the new moon. This intricate system of leap months (a month added on in certain years to make up for the differences in length) and postponement rules keeps the Jewish holidays in sync with the changing seasons.
When Is Hanukkah On The Jewish Calendar?
Due to its movable status, Hanukkah follows a different pattern each year. Generally, it is celebrated 11 days earlier each year than the previous year and may begin anywhere from late November to late December. In Jewish Leap Years, where a 13th month is added, Hanukkah is pushed back one month—begins in December. As Hanukkah follows the lunar calendar it is observed on a different date every year on the Western, Gregorian, calendar, making it a bit tricky to anticipate.
It’s no secret that Hanukkah is a particularly special occasion and a great time to get together with family and friends. There are a few ways people celebrate the holiday’s many traditions. Popular traditions include eating fried foods for the oily theme of the holiday, playing games like the dreidel game, and exchanging gifts amongst family and friends. The playing of the popular dreidel game is a way for children and adults alike to remember the holiday’s significance. And of course, on each night of the festival, families gather around to light the Hanukkah candles and sing songs of peace while enjoying the special food of the holiday.
Hanukkah is a wonderful and joyous holiday that Jewish families look forward to celebrating each year. The festival of Hanukkah is intended to serve as a reminder to each and every one of us to keep up faith in the goodness of people and faith in G-d with each passing year. While we may never know G-d’s will, having faith in Him revolves around understanding that every miracle is within His will. Hanukkah is a celebration of ancient miracles; it is also a celebration of modern miracles. With the passage of time, we gain a deeper appreciation and awareness of G-d’s revolving presence in our daily lives. Every Hanukkah, may the light of the Menorah serve as a reminder that miracles can and do happen.
The questions of “when is Hanukkah on the Jewish Calendar?” has an answer that changes every year. As a movable Jewish holiday, the eight-day Hanukkah festival celebrates the miracle of a single day’s worth of oil lasting for eight days with a special meal each night and a candle lit in celebration. Jews around the world come together around this observance to rejoice in ancient and modern miracles.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.