A child uses the shamash to light the Hanukkah candles. The candles are inside a silver menorah.

Hanukkah 2022

In 2022, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 18 and lasts until sundown on Monday, Dec. 26.

In 2022, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, Dec. 18 and lasts until sundown on Monday, Dec. 26.

Find a Hanukkah prep checklist here.

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 menorah, 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.

A bronze Hanukkah menorah with nine blue and white candles that are all lit. One of the candles, the shamash, is higher than the others. There are dreidels next to the menorah.

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.

Download a printable PDF of the Hanukkah candle blessings here.

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 Sephardic 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.

Your Hanukkah Questions, Answered

What Are the Symbols of Hanukkah and What Do They Mean?
Why Hanukkah Is Actually a Minor Holiday
Must-Know Hanukkah Words and Phrases
How to Greet Someone on Hanukkah
What to Write in a Hanukkah Card
Is It OK to Use an Electric Menorah for Hanukkah?
What Is the Shamash Candle for Hanukkah?
How Is Hanukkah Celebrated in Israel?
What Do the Letters On the Dreidel Stand For?
These Hanukkah Images Are Free To Download

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Explore Hanukkah’s history, global traditions, food and more with My Jewish Learning’s “All About Hanukkah” email series. Sign up to take a journey through Hanukkah and go deeper into the Festival of Lights.

Discover More

How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah

The traditional blessings and procedures for lighting the Hanukkah candles.

Why Do Jews Play Dreidel on Hanukkah?

7 questions and answers about these spinning tops.

Recipes for Hanukkah

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