Hanukkah is one of the most joyous holidays celebrated in the Jewish community. Along with the traditional rituals of lighting a menorah, Dreidel games and eating delicious latkes, exchanging festive wishes of ‘Happy Hanukkah’ is an important part of the annual celebration. Although seeing the word ‘Hanukkah’ on advertisements and store signs can level the spirits of those who are Jewish, it is important to know exactly when it is appropriate to extend holiday greetings to family, friends and strangers.
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When is it Appropriate to Say Happy Hanukkah?
Start of Hanukkah
The most appropriate time to begin extending wishes of “Happy Hanukkah” is the evening of the first night of the festival. Although many Jews start celebrating even before the onset of Hanukkah, if you are not celebrating together, hold off on wishing Happy Hanukkah until that night.
During the Festival
Sending someone a ‘Happy Hanukkah’ greeting at any point during the eight-day festival is perfectly acceptable. Some even start as soon as the night before the start of Hanukkah. Every day is valid for sending a greeting, with the following days usually the most popular:
- Night One: Technically kicking things off, wishing Happy Hanukkah on the first night is quite appropriate
- Night Two: Wishing someone a ‘Happy Hanukkah’ on the second night is like wishing them ‘Mazel Tov’
- Night Eight: Wishing someone a Happy Hanukkah on the eighth night is like wishing them ‘Happy New Year’
After the Festival
If Hanukkah has already passed and you still want to wish someone a Happy Hanukkah, you can usually do so up until a week afterwards. However, it is important to note that even past this time frame wishing someone a ‘Happy Hanukkah’ is usually seen as too late and may come off as insincere.
In conclusion, ‘Happy Hanukkah’ is a great way to express affection and show you care to family, friends and fellow Jews. You don’t necessarily have to give an elaborate or expensive gift when expressing these wishes however, getting creative with your greetings always adds an extra sense of joy. As long as you bear in mind the times when expressing these wishes is appropriate, you’ll be sure to have a Happy Hanukkah!
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.