Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Hanukkah: About Hanukkah

About Hanukkah

Hanukkah, one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, is a festive eight-day celebration that for many people falls during the darkest, coldest season of the year. Also called the Festival of Lights, the holiday brings light, joy, and warmth to our homes and communities as we celebrate with candles, food, family, and friends.

Light comes literally, with the lighting of an additional candle each day, and metaphorically, through a newer emphasis on charitable donations and a commitment to tikkun olam during the holiday. Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah), meaning "dedication" in Hebrew, commemorates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels (led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers, collectively known as “the Maccabees”) over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and "rededication" of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Modern celebrations of Hanukkah focus on family and friends and include the lighting of the Hanukkah menorah (also called a hanukkiyah); singing and playing special songs and games (dreidel); and eating foods prepared in oil including latkessufganiyot, bimuelos (fried dough puffs) and keftes de prasas (leek patties). ReformJudaism.org

Hanukkah

Hanukkah (3:51) by Rabbi Mark Melamut at ReformJudaism.org

WHEN IS HANUKKAH?

Upcoming Hanukkah dates include:

  • 2021,  - 

  • 2022,  - 

  • 2023,  - 

Learn More