When is Hanukkah 2024?
Jewish communities celebrate the first day of Hanukkah in the United States, marking the beginning of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah or Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish practice that remembers the struggle of the Jewish people for religious freedom. It commences on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any point from the end of November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival celebrated by lighting candles of a candelabrum with nine branches called a menorah (or hanukkiah). Only one candle is used to light up the other eight candles. This unique candle is called Shamash. Every night, one new candle is lit by Shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the festival.
Is Hanukkah a Federal Holiday in the US?
The first day of Hanukkah is not a federal holiday. Businesses, government organizations, banks, and stores have regular opening hours. Some Jewish schools have their school holidays fall at the same time as Hanukkah.
How do people celebrate Hanukkah?
In the United States, Jewish communities celebrate the first day of Hanukkah on the 25th day of Kislev month, according to the Jewish calendar. The Hanukkah season lasts for eight days and celebrated from the 25th day of Kislev to the second day of Tevet. The first night of Hanukkah begins with a special blessing at sunset before the 25th day of Kislev. Many Jews illuminate the Menorah, also known as the hanukkiah, which is a type of candelabra.
Many American Jewish people eat fried food in olive oil, such as potato cake and individually fried pieces of bread. Hanukkah dishes combine sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts), Mandelbrot (it can slice â€‹â€‹like hard bread), potato latte (pancakes), and rugelach (pastry with various fillings). Hanukkah's first day indicates the origin of a celebratory season in which a four-sided toy (dreidel) is used for games. On the first night of Hanukkah, people sing traditional hymns to commemorate Hanukkah. Gifting is also popular at this time of the year.
Facts related to Hanukkah
- Due to the importance of oil for a holiday, it is customary to eat fried foods on Hanukkah. Among Ashkenazic Jews, this includes latkes ( of fried potatoes pancakes in oil) and donuts.
- A traditional game is played during Hanukkah is dreidel. Dreidel is a four-way spinning top with a Hebrew letter inscribed on each side. These letters are nuns (like N), gimel (like G), hei (like H) and shin (like sh). These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, a great miracle happened, referring to the revelation of the oil.
- After the meal, there is a special prayer called for miracles during the prayer sessions and grace. In this prayer, God is thanked for allowing Jewish minorities to overcome their large and strong enemies (a recurring theme in Jewish existence).
- It is not one of the biblical festivals, and Jews are allowed to work on Hanukkah.
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