Hanukkah is a holiday celebrated by the Jewish religion. Hanukkah is a Hebrew verb meaning to dedicate. It is sometimes spelled Chanukah, Chanukkah, or Chanuka. Hanukkah is the celebration of Festival of Lights. This is an rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem.
This Jewish celebration, observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev (the third month of the civil and ninth of the religious year, usually coinciding with parts of November and December.) according to the Hebrew calendar, known as the Jewish Calendar, (a lunisolar calendar) which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
Dated below are based on Nightfall to Nightfall.
2019: December 22-30
- 2020: December 10-18
- 2021: November 28 – December 6
- 2022: December 18-26
- 2023: December 7-15
- 2024: December 26 – January 2, 2025
- 2025: December 14 – December 22
- 2017: December 12-20
- 2018: December 2-10
The traditional Menorah consists of eight branch or candles. A new light is lit each night for eight nights. Hanukkah lights should burn for at least one half hour after it gets dark. Since candles may not be lit on the Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath) itself, the candles must be lit before sunset. However, they must remain lit until the regular time—thirty minutes after nightfall—and inexpensive Hanukkah candles do not burn long enough to meet the requirement.
The dreidel, or sevivon in Hebrew, is a four-sided spinning top that children play with on this special day too. Each side imprinted with a Hebrew letter. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (He), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”). This dreidel game is often played after the lighting of the menorah.
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Special foods such as dairy foods and cheeses. Various types of activities also occur during the Hanukkah celebration. Prayer and blessings are another important part of the celebration. This holiday is not a Sabbath type holiday. Another tradition is giving of Hanukkah gelt. Hanukkah gelt is a form of money given to small children. It could also include chocolate coins given to children too.
Some information from Wikipedia. Also printed in the Patterson Post 2011 Christmas Newsletter with updates on this blog post. Last published or updated December 18, 2019.