When Does Chanukah Start in 2017?


Chanukah is the 8-day festival of light. See when Chanukah begins in 2017—plus, history, customs, and a few traditional recipes.

What is Chanukah?

Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light which starts each year on the 25th of Jewish month of Kislev. This date changes every year, because it is primarily based on the lunar cycle, not our civil calendar, and can range from early November until the 26th December.

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.

Chanukah History

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. The army of Jews won, despite their small numbers.

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 2017

Note: The dates listed reflect SUNDOWN. This eight-day Jewish festival begins sunset of the date listed.

In 2017, Chanukah begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 12. The first candle is lit on the Chanukiah on the 12th. 

Year  Chanukah Begins
2017 Tuesday, December 12
2018 Sunday, December 2
2019 Sunday, December 22

Chanukah Recipes and Customs

Traditional Chanukah recipes include foods fried in oil, to commemorate the miracle of Chanukah which occurred with oil. Examples are fried potato panckes or latkes, applesauce, deep-fried or jelly-filled dougnuts, rugelach, and 15 more Chanukah recipes.

Many of the Chanukah meals are communal to bring together friends and family, especially if they need to reconcile.

Consumer gifts are not a custom; the menorah’s candles are meant to recall the miracle—and focus on this religious purpose. Traditionally, money was given to charity, with more given each day as the candles were lit. This originated with the need for even the poor to have money for the candles, so they could go door-to-door without any shame.

It is also customary on Chanukah to give money gifts to children, and to play dreidel games.

If you celebrate Chanukah, please share your traditions below! We would love to hear from you.


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The start of the Chanukah holiday

The start of Chanukah is not always at the end of December. It goes according to the Jewish calendar. I believe it is the 25th day of the 9th month. That day could be right after Thanksgiving or it could b Xmas Eve.

Festival of Light 2015

Enjoy celebrating triumphs of Light over Darkness!


cant relive Hanuka starts on the 6th of dec in 2015 for it has always been towards the end of dec


I had just finished teaching Christmas Around the World when a television news reported said Hanukkah lasted eight days because the war lasted eight days. I couldn't believe that they would make such a mistake on National TV.

Channukah, starts like most

Channukah, starts like most Jewish holidays in the evening, as said in the Old Testament; First there was evening, and then there was light, thus was the first day. Jewish people have always followed this that the new "day" starts in the evening. Thus is the same for this holiday; as the first candle is lit on the evening and it is then a "day" for the next 24 hours.

The Greek gods were

The Greek gods were worshipped by the Syrians because their king was a descendant of one of Alexander's generals, so the Syrians were colonized by the Greeks. In Jesus' day, under the Roman occupation, the miracle of the oil was the public celebration, as a remembrance of a sucessful insurrection wouldn't have gone over too well with the Romans.