When does Hanukkah 2017 begin? The Jewish holiday is finally here, so we rounded up everything you need to know about the eight-day celebration!
The holiday season is upon us, which means millions of Jewish people will begin celebrating Hanukkah! Since the eight day period is determined by the Hebrew calendar, it doesn’t land on the exact same day each year. So when does Hanukkah 2017 begin? The holiday will start the evening of today, Dec. 12, and end the evening of Dec. 20. So now that you know when it’ll be happening, here’s a roundup of things you should know about the religious tradition:
What is Hanukkah? Also known as Chanukah, the holiday is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights.” The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication” which is aptly named because the tradition celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
How did it begin and why is it celebrated? In the second century BCE, the Syrian-Greeks tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek cultures and beliefs. A small band of Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated their army, drove the Greeks away, and reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. When they tried to light the Temple’s Menorah, the found a single pot of olive oil, which was expected to last only one day. The single day supply ended up lasting for eight days, and to commemorate the miracle, the Hanukkah festival was created, and is still celebrated across the globe today.
How do you celebrate it? There’s a lot more to the holiday than lighting a menorah each night. While that’s definitely a large part of the holiday, special prayers and fried foods are also incorporated into the celebration.
The menorah holds nine candles, one of which is called the shamash, which is used to light the remaining eight flames. One flame is lit on the first night, an additional flame is lit on the second night, and by the eighth night all candles are kindled. Special blessings are recited before the lighting of the menorah, and traditional songs are sung afterward.
Foods are typically fried in oil in reference to the oil involved in the Hanukkah miracle. Potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are a staple, and usually garnished with applesauce or sour cream. Jelly-filled donuts are also a favorite.
HollywoodLifers, are you excited for Hanukkah?