This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Kesher Israel in Georgetown has several Hanukkah events, according to their newsletter:
- Children's Hanukkah Party: The event 5 p.m. Dec. 9 features crafts, dinner, sufganiyot, and a candle lighting.
- Community Dinner: A community Shabbat dinner 6 p.m. Dec. 14 and an Oneg Shabbat following dinner at approximately 8 p.m. You are asked to RSVP for the dinner by Dec. 11 at: tinyurl.com/Kesher14Dec. The cost is $13 for members, $18 for non-members, free for new members. Contact Jacob Lesch with any questions or for more information.
The Lighting Ceremony of the National Hanukkah Menorah is 4 p.m. Dec. 9 and tickets are available online. This event on the Ellipse features the United States Navy Band as well as food (think donuts and latkes) and games for the family.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?