When is Hanukkah

When Does Hanukkah Start in 2023? Hanukkah 2023 starts at nightfall on December 7, 2023 and ends with nightfall on December 15, 2023.

When is Hanukkah 2023December 7, 2023 – December 15, 2023
When is Hanukkah 2024December 25, 2024 – January 02, 2025
When is Hanukkah 2025December 14, 2025 – December 22, 2025
When is Hanukkah 2026December 04, 2026 – December 12, 2026
When is Hanukkah 2027December 24, 2027 – January 01, 2028

The Story of Hanukkah

Many people although aware that a festival named Hanukkah exists, don’t really know what the festival is all about. Hanukkah is an eight day Jewish festival often called and associated with the Festival of Lights. Also known as Chanukah the festival is celebrated in commemoration of the rededication during the 2nd century BC of the second temple in Jerusalem where the Jews stood up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the historical events that led to the creation of this festival. Also check out more about Hanukkah 2023.

The Maccabean Revolt

The Maccabean revolt was a Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes launched a fully fledged oppression on the Jews, banning all Jewish practices, taking control of Jerusalem and making the Second Temple in Jerusalem the site for syncretic Pagan-Jewish cult. The people were massacred, Jews were forced to worship Greek Gods and an alter of Zeus was created inside the Second Temple. This made the Jews furious and this anger turned into a rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus.

The rebellion started small, with people raiding towns and settlements that were under the Seleucid Empire, but it turned into a big battle with proper armies, which led to the Jews taking back Jerusalem quite early. The Second Temple was then cleansed and rededicated on the 25th of Kislev.

When is Hanukkah

Check out when is Hanukkah 2023 and learn more about the festival so that you too can join in on the Hanukkah celebrations with your Jewish friends.

The Hanukkah ‘Miracle’

Legends say, during the rededication of the temple, something very unusual happened at the temple. According to the Talmud, Judah Maccabeus and the others who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed something that they could only call a miracle. Stories say that there was only just enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day.

And yet, the flames continued burning for eight nights, giving them enough time to find a fresh supply of olive oil. This miraculous event inspired the Jewish sages/priests to proclaim an eight-day festival every year. However, the first Book of the Maccabees tells another version of the story, describing an eight-day celebration that followed the rededication but making no reference to the miracle of the oil.

Traditions around Hanukkah

There are many celebratory traditions that are related to Hanukkah and bear historical or cultural significance. One of the most notable traditions is the Lighting of the candelabrum, or also known as Menorah or Hanukkiyah. Initially, only one candle used to be lit. But as years went by, it became a tradition to light 8 candles symbolizing one candle for each night the lamp was lit during the rededication. It has now become a tradition to light the menorah and putting on the windows. In the US, there are also practices of lighting the Menorah alongside the Christmas tree showing the acceptance of Jews in the American life.

Singing Hanukkah songs is another one of really old and traditionally significant thing that Jewish people do to celebrate Hanukkah. From religious songs to fun and silly songs, people take part in singing these songs and have fun celebrating Hanukkah.

Exchanging gifts is a classic at all the festivals. It is one way to share and reciprocate love for one another. In Hanukkah too, exchanging gifts with family and friends has been a long time tradition.

Playing Driedel is something that may not have been the custom from the start, but in the last couple of centuries the tradition has taken a huge association the festival of Hanukkah.  The game although has ancient roots, but was only came into the modern day tradition in the mid 18th century.

Another practice that is synonymous with the festival is giving Gelt, which is the Yiddish word for ‘money’.  Earlier traditions of this practice revolved around collecting money to help poor children, but in recent times, this has also evolved into the tradition of giving the children in the family money as a gift. In 1920s US, Loft’s Candies started making Hanukkah Gelt out of chocolate and covered with gold foil and it has been a tradition ever since.

Your plans for Hanukkah 2023!

Now that you’ve learned a bit about the history and celebrations of the festival, what are your plans for Hanukkah 2023? Check out when is Hanukkah 2023 so that you too can make plans with your Jewish friends to take part in the celebrations of this festival.

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