Hanukkah (also spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day Jewish festival which begins this evening at sundown. The 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 relight 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. Learn more about Hanukkah.
Daily Calendar for Sunday, December 18, 2022
Question of the Day
How long have people been sending out Christmas cards?
The first Christmas card is thought to have been printed in England in 1843. Wood engravers of the time often produced prints with religious themes, but this was the first time anyone produced these prints in quantity and sold them (1,000 copies in London). The design was of a family party, beneath which were the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.” In the mid-19th century in the United States, the owner of a variety store in Albany, New York, produced a card carrying Christmas greetings from “Pease’s Great Variety Store in the Temple of Fancy.”
Advice of the Day
Kindnesses, like grain, increase by sowing.
Home Hint of the Day
To remove the film from inside a wine glass, fill the glass with a strong solution of ammonia and water. Wait a couple of hours, then wash and rinse.
Word of the Day
Wisconsin was probably named from a Chippewa word that means “river of red stone” or “river of the great rock.”
Puzzle of the Day
Which is swifter — heat or cold?
Heat, because you can catch cold.
- Edward MacDowell (composer) –
- Ty Cobb (baseball player) –
- Betty Grable (actress) –
- Steven Spielberg (director) –
- Ray Liotta (actor ) –
- Brad Pitt (actor) –
- Katie Holmes (actress) –
- Christina Aguilera (singer) –
- Billie Eilish (singer) –
- Chris Farley (actor) –
- Joe Barbera (half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that made cartoon characters such as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, and the Flintstones) –
- Majel Barrett-Roddenberry (actress and producer) –
- Connie Hines (actress) –
- Zsa Zsa Gabor (actress and socialite) –
- The Great Comet reached perihelion–
- New Jersey became the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution–
- John William Draper took the first photo of the Moon–
- The 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting slavery, went into effect–
- National Anti-Saloon League was founded–
- U.S. President Woodrow Wilson married Edith B. Galt, a descendent of Pocahontas–
- Civil rights activist Rosa McCauley married Raymond Parks–
- Giant panda, Basi, celebrated her 25th birthday at China’s Fuzhou Zoo. (She far surpassed the normal panda life expectancy of 12 years!)–
- Central Park in New York City experienced a record low temperature of 10 degrees below zero F–
- A sudden gale of wind of almost cyclonic force blew through Howe, Indiana, and caused snowballs to form spontaneously and roll along the ground like tumbleweeds–
- Freezing rain in the Memphis, Tennessee, area caused 170 evening auto accidents–