Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days and is celebrated from December 12-20. The tradition commemorates when an ancient prophecy claimed to have been fulfilled in the 2nd century BC after Jews rededicated their temple following years of persecution by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev. It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt. The festival lasts for eight days and nights, and celebrates miracles that are said to have occurred during this time.
Hanukkah is a pivotal holiday in the Jewish calendar (Picture: Getty)
Jews all across the globe are getting ready for Hanukkah, which includes candle-lighting, doughnut-eating, and lots other festivities.
The Festival of Lights, which lasts eight days, is one of the most joyous periods on the Jewish calendar, with family exchanging gifts and lighting eight unique candles.
While Hanukkah might occasionally happen on the same day as Christmas, it can occur at any point throughout the month of December — and even earlier.
When is Hanukkah this year, and what is the significance of the holiday?
When is Hanukkah in the year 2021?
Hanukkah 2021 starts at sunset today, Sunday, November 28th, which is the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.
Because the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle rather than the solar cycle, with months starting according to the new moon, this date changes every year in the Gregorian calendar, causing the dates to vary.
During the celebration, eight days’ worth of candles are lit.
In 2020, the first night of Hanukkah fell on Sunday, December 22, making the holiday overlap with Christmas.
Hanukkah, like other Jewish holidays and major days, begins at sunset on the first night and continues for eight nights until Monday, December 6.
What is the significance of Hanukkah?
Hanukkah – or Chanukah, as it is known in Hebrew — celebrates the sacking of the Jewish sacred temple by Syrian-Greek armies more than 2,500 years ago.
Antiochus, their monarch, presented the Jews with an unthinkable choice: either surrender their faith or face execution.
That’s when the Maccabees, a tiny group of Jewish rebels, battled back and were able to retake the sacred temple – but they found there was just enough oil left to keep the holy light (known in Hebrew as the Ner Tamid), a flame that is never supposed to go out, lit for one more day.
However, a miracle occurred: the flame remained lit for a further eight days, long enough to generate another batch of oil.
This is commemorated by the eight candles that are lighted on each of the festival’s eight days.
What are the Hanukkah traditions?
Do you want some doughnuts? (Photo courtesy of Getty)
Unlike many of the main Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is not a celebration that forces people to stop working or studying for eight days, but it still has plenty of rituals and practices to keep up with throughout the week.
Every night of Hanukkah, families light a candle on a special candelabra known as a Menorah after sunset (except Fridays, when it is lighted before the Sabbath candle), adding one more candle for each night of the celebration until all eight are lit on the final night.
The Menorah comprises nine branches, with the Shamash, the centre candle, being used to light the other candles each night.
It is customary to set the candles in each family’s window so that anyone passing by may see them.
At this time of year, dreidels are very popular to play with.
Other traditions include consuming oil-fried dishes, like as doughnuts and latkes (potato pancakes), to commemorate the oil miracle in the temple.
Hanukkah is also a highly festive event, with many parties and gifts being exchanged (some individuals have the habit of giving gifts for each night of the festival), as well as giving children a tiny gift of money known as ‘Hanukkah gelt’ and chocolate coins.
Playing games with a miniature spinning top known as a dreidel, which has Hebrew characters on each of its four sides, is also customary.
According to legend, they were employed by Jewish youngsters during the Maccabees period to disguise the fact that they were studying sacred books by pretending to be playing games instead.
What should you say to someone who is having a Hanukkah celebration?
If you want to send joyful wishes to Jewish friends or coworkers, just say “Happy Hanukkah” or “Hanukkah Sameach,” which is Hebrew for “happy Hanukkah.”
Alternatively, you may say ‘Chag Sameach,’ which simply means ‘happy holiday,’ or go one step further and wish them a ‘Chag Urim Sameach,’ which translates as ‘happy Festival of Lights.’
MORE: In Hebrew, how do you wish someone a happy Hanukkah?
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Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem. It lasts for eight days and nights, and is celebrated from the 25th day of Kislev to the second night of Chanukah. Reference: when is hanukkah 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hanukkah and why is it celebrated?
A: Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the second-century temple in Jerusalem. It is celebrated by lighting candles on all eight nights to commemorate this event, with foods including latkes and donuts.
What is the main purpose of Hanukkah?
A: The main purpose of Hanukkah is to celebrate the miracle that took place when a small amount of oil was found in Israels Temple during its rededication.
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