Why Hanukkah begins on a special day yearly

(NEXSTAR) – As many spend the time between Thanksgiving and early December specializing in the approaching Christmas season, there may be one other main vacation upon us: Hanukkah. Known as “eight loopy nights” within the in style “Saturday Evening Reside” track by Adam Sandler, the vacation isn’t nearly lighting a menorah and spinning a dreidel.

It’s true that Hanukkah, additionally spelled “Chanukah” and generally known as the Pageant of Lights, is widely known over eight days by Jewish individuals worldwide. The phrase itself, which is Hebrew for “dedication” and pronounced as kha-nu-kah, stems from the vacation’s objective: the rededication of the Holy Temple.

When is Hanukkah this yr?

Hanukkah begins on the eve of Kislev 25 on the Hebrew calendar, which typically falls in late November or early December. This yr, Hanukkah runs from Dec. 18 to Dec. 26 — a number of weeks later than in 2021, when the pageant lasted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6.

The vacation’s origins date again to the 2nd century BCE, when a small group of Jews reclaimed their Holy Temple in Jerusalem, in keeping with the Chabad-Lubavitch of Wisconsin.

“When the Jews recaptured the temple there was solely oil adequate to final for one night time. The oil, nonetheless, lasted for eight nights. The vacation is widely known by lighting candles, one extra one for every night time of the eight nights that the vacation is widely known,” Andrea Alcabes, Government Director for the I.J. & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Group Middle, informed Nexstar’s KTVX.

In accordance with Rabbi Hannah Wallick, Vice President of Management and World with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Hanukkah follows the lunar calendar relatively than the photo voltaic calendar. As a result of the 2 calendars are usually not aligned to the day, Jewish holidays fluctuate on the photo voltaic calendar.

Relying on the yr, Hanukkah may begin as late as Dec. 27.

How Hanukkah is noticed

Every night time, a candle of the Hanukkiah, or “menorah,” is lit. Wallick explains a menorah, technically talking, has seven branches for candles whereas a Hanukkiah has eight, plus yet one more which holds a helper candle used to mild the others. It’s common to see menorahs within the home windows of Jewish properties and different public locations like malls, parks, and metropolis corridor lawns.

Adam Sandler was proper about one other factor: Throughout Hanukkah, it’s conventional to play with a dreidel, a four-sided spinning prime with 4 Hebrew letters forming an acronym of “nes gadol hayah sham,” that means “a terrific miracle occurred there,” the Chabad-Lubavitch explains.

Extra you need to find out about Hanukkah

Regardless of what Sandler sang on “SNL,” there are a extra songs in regards to the Jewish vacation than simply “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.”

Peter, Paul, & Mary, the group behind “Puff the Magic Dragon,” even have a Hanukkah track, “Mild One Candle.” Different songs embrace “Left to Proper” by Michelle Citrin and “Hanukkah on Hanukkah” by Erran Baron Cohen — the brother of Sacha Baron Cohen, the comic behind Borat.

Moreover, whereas Hanukkah falls throughout a time when different faiths are celebrating main holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, it isn’t really one among Judaism’s most essential holidays.

“It does fall in an auspicious vacation season for different religion traditions, so persons are extra conscious of it,” Wallick explains.