Festivals

Hanukkah 2018: Date, Tradition Celebration, Food, Significance, History and Recipes

Hanukkah 2018: Date, Celebration, Significance, History and Recipes: Hanukkah also known as Chanukah is an eight nights and days Jewish festival, which is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. According to Hebrew calendar the celebration for the day starts from 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, annually, which according to Gregorian calendar falls at any time from late November to late December.

Menorah with burning candles and dreidel. Hanukkah preparations

Hanukkah 2018 Date & Celebration

Hebrew or Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle and is used for religious observances. It also decides the dates of Jewish holidays as well as suitable public reading of Torah portions. According to the Gregorian calendar it might change from year to year because of which the opening of Hanukkah can range from early November to late December.

In short, Hanukkah honours the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors conquered the Greek armies who attacked their territory. The festival rejoices the victory of light over darkness and of holiness over materiality. Read on to learn more about the history of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah 2018: Celebration Date

In this year of 2018, the Hanukkah festival is going to begin at the sunset on 2nd December 2018, Sunday and will end on 10th December 2018, Monday. The first candle is lighted on the menorah which is a symbol of Jewish faith and religion and the high priest used to light menorah every evening in the temple.

History and Significance of Hanukkah

The festival of Hanukkah honour the events that took place 2000 years ago in Judea, when the Syrian king Antiochus gave the orders to the Jews to discard the Torah and start worshiping the Greek gods. This act provoked a revolt headed by Judas Maccabeus, summited by the recapturing of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been dishonoured by the Syrians. The army of Jews fight against them and won, in spite of their small numbers.

The Maccabees magnificently fought against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. According to the Talmud, an ancient text, the Temple was purified and rededicated. There was only sufficient sacred oil to light the menorah again but the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned for eight days.

The significant feature of the Hanukkah festival is the night by night lighting of the Chanukah or menorah. Menorah is a nine-branched candleholder which is lit during the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, as opposed to the seven-branched menorah used in the ancient Temple or as a symbol. Each day of Hanukkah one candle is lit at one night and continued each successive night till eight nights.

On this day celebrations  candles are lighted up each night of Hanukkah, special songs such as Ma’oz Tzur are sung, Holly prayer are recited.

Traditional Hanukkah Recipes

Traditional Hanukkah recipes include fried foods, to memorialize the unusual miracle of the oil. Dairy foodstuffs are also common during Hanukkah festival. Some of the best and popular foods consumed during the festival are sufganiyot, applesauce, latkes which are fried potato pancakes and rugelach pastries.

The Hanukkah meals are eaten jointly with the family and friends to reunite with your loved ones.