Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights and is celebrated for eight days each year with festivities that include traditional prayers, singing, food and gifts. Hanukkah is usually celebrated from late November to early December, but this year it is being celebrated a little later than usual and it is causing some confusion. So why is Hanukkah so late this year?
The reason why Hanukkah is so late this year is because the Jewish calendar follows the lunar cycle. This means that the holidays are not strictly attached to the same calendar day each year, but rather move from month to month depending on the cycle of the moon. In most years, Hanukkah occurs in the month of Kislev, which is usually in late November or early December, however this year the cycle of the moon has been delayed, resulting in a later celebration.
In Jewish tradition, there are four ”New Years” which are always celebrated on the 1st of Tishrei, and the rabbis of old created a special calendar to mark off the days leading up to each of these holidays. This calendar is referred to as a “lunisolar calendar” and is comprised of both lunar and solar cycles and is what is used to determine all of the Jewish holidays. According to this lunisolar calendar, Kislev, which is usually around the same time as Hanukkah, is coming late this year, pushing the date of Hanukkah to December 13-21.
In addition to the lunar cycle, the dates of Hanukkah are also affected by time zone differences, as it may begin on one day in one part of the world and finish on another day in another part of the world. For example, in the United States, Hanukkah starts a day later than in other parts of the world due to the time difference.
This year, Hanukkah is unusually late due to the Lunar cycle and time zone differences. Despite this, the spirit of the season will remain the same – with traditional prayers, celebrations, singing, food, and gifts. No matter the date, Hanukkah is a special time of year that helps to remind us of the importance of family, faith, and community.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.