Hanukkah 2017

Light the menorah on Dec. 12, 2017!

Hanukkah 2017 begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 12, and ends at sundown on Wednesday, December 20. Click here for a checklist. 

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, which is Hebrew for “dedication,” is the Festival of Lights.

It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring its , or lamp.

The miracle of Hanukkah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days.

How Do You Celebrate Hanukkah?

We celebrate Hanukkah at home by lighting the menorah (each night we light one additional candle to the number from the previous night), playing dreidel, and eating special foods unique to Hanukkah. Some people also sing Hanukkah songs or exchange gifts after lighting the menorah, which is also called a hanukkiah. Many people host and attend Hanukkah parties.

What Are Hanukkah Foods?

Many Hanukkah foods are deep-fried in oil, symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Temple. These include latkes, or potato pancakes, and jelly doughnuts. Other favorites include the delicacy bimuelos and use, of course, applesauce as a latke topping. Chocolate gelt, a candy that gets its name from the Yiddish word for money, is another popular Hanukkah treat. .

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Discover More

Hanukkah Vocabulary

Key words and phrases for the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Recipes for Hanukkah

The ever-popular potato latke heads the list of traditional, oily Hanukkah treats.

Hanukkah 101

From candle-lighting to Maccabees and latkes to dreidels.