Hanukkah is a festival of lights, a holiday of miracles, and a celebration of religious freedom. It was also the first holiday that Jews celebrated after their exile from Israel in ancient times.
Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar and lasting through the 2nd day of Tevet (the ninth day). The first candle is lit on the evening before the 25th day of Kislev, which begins at sundown on December 20th this year. The last candle is lit on the evening before the 2nd day of Tevet (December 30th this year), which begins at sundown on January 1st 2020.
The miracle during Hanukkah is told in the book of Maccabees (1:56-59):
“Then they came to Modin and besieged it for three years; And in those days many fell away from them who had defiled themselves with women, so that they were forced to go back to Jerusalem clean; but all Israel mourned for them according to their families.”
The Maccabees were able to remain faithful to God despite persecution by Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who ordered everyone.
Last modified: August 16, 2022