Here are Chanukah dates and history about this festival—plus, a few traditional recipes!
Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light which starts each year on the 25th of Jewish month of Kislev.
This festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying mighty Greek armies. This celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and of spirituality over materiality.
What is the history of Chanukah? This festival commemorates events that took place in Judea more than 2,000 years ago, when the Syrian king Antiochus ordered the Jews to abandon the Torah and publicly worship the Greek gods. This act provoked a rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus, climaxed by the retaking of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by the Syrians.
In an eight-day celebration, the Maccabees (as the rebels came to be known) cleansed and rededicated the Temple (Chanukah means “dedication”). According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated oil to re-light the candelabra for one day, yet, miraculously, it remained lit for eight days.
The central feature of the observance of Chanukah is the nightly lighting of the Chanukiah, an eight-branched candelabra with a place for a ninth candle, the shammes, used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Chanukah, and an additional candle is lit on each successive night, until, on the eighth night, the Chanukiah is fully illuminated.
Chanukah Dates 2016
Note: The dates listed reflect SUNDOWN. This eight-day Jewish festival begins sunset of the date listed.
So, in 2016, Chanukah begins at sunset on Saturday, December 24 and ends nightfall of Sunday, January 1. On Sunday evening, the 6th, light one candle on the menorah. This year, the Jewish holiday of Chanukah coincides with the Christian holiday of Christmas.
|Year||First Day of Chanukah|
|2016||Saturday, December 24|
|2017||Tuesday, December 12|
|2018||Sunday, December 2|
If you celebrate Chanukah, please share your traditions below! We would love to hear from you.