Hanukkah (kha-nu-kah) sometimes spelt Chanukah begins sundown of Sunday December 18 and ends sundown of Monday December 26, 2022.
The festivities of Hanukkah last for 8 days. On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah will always begin on the 25th day of Kislev, the 9th Hebrew month, and ends on the 2nd of Tevet, the 10th month. These 8 days will not be the same every year on the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is the one we follow daily. It can be considered the international calendar as it is used in most parts of the world. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII.) It is a solar based calendar which has 365 days broken up into 12 months of unequal number of days in a common year. Hebrew months are based on the lunar (moon) cycle, with 29 or 30 days per month, there are no 28 or 31 days per month. For this reason, Hanukkah will always be the same on the Hebrew calendar but will vary on the Gregorian calendar. The 25th of Kislev to the 2nd of Tevet will fall anywhere between the end of November to the beginning of January.
Future Hanukkah DATES on the Gregorian calendar
2023 - December 7 - December 15, 2023
2024 - December 25, 2024 - January 2, 2025
2025 - December 14 - December 22, 2025
2026 - December 4 - December 12, 2026
Hanukkah (Chanukah) is a Hebrew word that means dedication or rededication. For this reason, Hanukkah is also known as the “Feast of Dedication/Rededication”. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple and its altar and the Divine victory miracles that occurred.
The festivity of Hanukkah began after the Maccabees and their followers recaptured the temple of Jerusalem from the Greeks. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of this small untrained and ill-equipped, but brave and passionate warriors over the Greeks, who at that time had the most powerful army in the world. The Greeks tried vigorously and endlessly with guile to force the Israelites from practicing and honoring the commandments of God. Some fearing death, succumbed to the pressure and joined the enemies, while others fought back, even to their death. When some would not assimilate and become “one” with the Greeks, they outlawed the Shabbat, circumcision of baby boys, and the study of the Torah, under penalty of death. A vigorous war ensued between the Greeks and those who refused to assimilate. During this time the Holy Temple was desecrated by the heathens who took it over and profaned it by offering the abominable pig on the altar of the Most High. In the long run, the Maccabees and their followers recaptured the temple, cleansed and rededicated it (the second Temple in Jerusalem) on the 25th of Kislev, exactly three years after it was defiled. This is what Hanukkah’s celebration is about…. The Israelites successfully stood up to the most powerful army and won their liberty…. not only theirs but for future generations...yours and mine. That’s the miracle!!!
Although the Maccabees prevailed over the Greeks many years ago, the same war continues today as we are enticed to taste and enjoy what the other side is offering. We must be vigilant; we cannot succumb to the craftiness of these threats. This was the very reason why Hanukkah was established….to oppose cultural assimilation.
The Maccabees fought a bitter and deadly fight to preserve what they considered their ideal.
Let’s take a minute to refocus and bethink ourselves. What are our ideals? Are we willing and ready to fight to preserve them?
READ ABOUT WHAT PRECEDED HANUKKAH & THE STRUGGLES ENCOUNTERED: