Happy Hanukkah 2019: Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that is celebrated worldwide to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. This observance is also known as the Festival of Lights.
Hebrew or Jewish calendar is basically based on the lunar cycle as well as it is used for religious observances. It also decides the dates of Jewish holidays along with the suitable public reading of Torah portions. As per the Gregorian calendar, it may possibly change from year to year for the reason for which the opening of Hanukkah can range from early November to late December.
If you want to know more about this significant festival then you are in the right place. Today, we are going to share important details regarding Hanukkah. Read on the further article till the end in order to learn more about the date, interesting facts and history, and significance of Hanukkah.
When is Hanukkah 2019?
The festival of Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, beginning on the 25th day of Kislev as per the Hebrew calendar, which might occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
This year in 2019, Hanukkah is going to be celebrated on Sunset, 22 December and will carry on till nightfall, 30 December.
Interesting Facts about Hanukkah
- The holiday commemorates the victory of a band of rebel Jews known as the Maccabees in regaining their temple from the Greek-Syrians.
- The festival is observed by lighting Menorah, a candelabra with nine candles, four on either side and a candle in the center intended to light all the others. This is also popularly known as the shamash as well as it sits higher than (or somehow apart from) the other candles.
- Almost every Hanukkah dish is fried and the reason behind this is that people fry their food in oil for Hanukkah as a symbol for the miracle oil that burned for eight nights straight.
- More than 17.5 million jelly donuts are consumed in Israel during the course of the Hanukkah celebration.
- On this day, the temple basically required a holy light to burn inside at all times for eight nights, but the Jews had only enough oil for one night. Exceptionally, the light burned for eight days.
- As per the tradition, gifts were not always given for Hanukkah. Usually, people used to give money to one another for Hanukkah. But soon after Christmas became more popular, more and more Jewish people then started giving gifts instead of money.
- In the year 1951, Harry Truman was the first president to celebrate Hanukkah at the White House. He accepted a Menorah as a gift from the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.
Hanukkah’s Significance and Celebration
The significance of this day is that Maccabees successfully rebelled against Antiochus IV Epiphanes. As per the Talmud, a late text, the Temple was purified as well as the wicks of the menorah astoundingly burned for straight eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day’s lighting.
In short, Hanukkah honors the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors seized the Greek armies who attacked their territory. The festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness as well as of holiness over materiality.
On this day, the candles are lit each night of the celebration. Special songs are sung like Ma’oz Tzur. and the Hallel prayers are recited. Foods fried in oil are consumed, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods. Dreidel games are also played on these days for celebrating the festival and also giving Hanukkah gelt.