Image Attribution: Yair Aronshtam from Israel, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Hanukkah (also spelled “Chanukah”) is an eight-day winter “festival of lights,” which begins each year on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev.
Because the Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the dates of Jewish holidays according to the Gregorian calendar change from year to year. For this reason, the beginning of Hanukkah can range from late November to late December.
In short, Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies. The festival celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and of spirituality over materiality.
In 2022, Hanukkah begins at sundown on Sunday, December 18, and continues through Monday, December 26. The first candle is lit on the Chanukiah (menorah) on the first night of Hanukkah.