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What Day Does Hanukkah 2012 Start?

The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah is right around the corner. Here are some ways you can celebrate locally.

The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah — also called the Festival of Lights — begins this year on Saturday at sundown. In the Hebrew calendar — which is a lunar calendar — Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. Hanukah runs for eight days, and will conclude this year on Sunday night, Dec. 16.

Celebrate Locally

Highland Park-Mount Washington residents will have several opportunities to take part in local observations of the holiday. 

Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock will host a Community Lights Hanukkah Party on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 6-9 p.m. at 5711 Monte Vista Street. 

Community members are invited to come sing Hanukkah songs, eat latkes, light the giant Hanukkiah, and win a raffle prize. Raffle tickets are $5 and can be purchased at Temple Beth Israel up to and on the day of the party.

Anyone interested in helping to set up on the day of the party can volunteer, here.

On Sunday, Dec. 9 Temple Beth Israel invite community members to help spend an afternoon setting up for the Hanukkah party. A cookie-bake will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and setup will take place from noon until 4 p.m.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a celebration commemorating the Maccabean Revolt, a battle between the Jews and the Seleucids, who ruled Israel more than 2,000 years ago.

The Jews drove the Seleucids out of Jerusalem and reclaimed their desecrated holy temple, according to the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center

The victors found a one-day supply of olive oil that had not been contaminated by the Seleucids and used it to light the temple menorah. The miracle of Hanukkah is that the oil — which was supposed to last for only one day — lasted for eight days, hence the length of time Hanukkah is celebrated today.

Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a candle on the menorah on each of the eight nights.  Other customs include eating traditional foods made with oil, such as potato latkes and deep-fried, filled donuts known as sufganiyot, and playing with a spinning top called a dreidel, which is inscribed with the Hebrew acronym for "A great miracle happened there.")

How does your family celebrate Hanukkah?

nonoise December 05, 2012 at 06:36 AM
No amplified bullhorns from them!!
Culturevator December 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM
It starts this Saturday, and continues through next Sunday. We have a very old Jewish congregation right here, at the beautiful and historic Temple Beth Israel. They are a wonderful asset to Highland Park, and adds some divine savor to the cultural stew. L'Chaim
Michael H December 05, 2012 at 04:28 PM
lighting a giant Hanukkah??? it's a giant menorah!!
David Fonseca (Editor) December 05, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Hi Michael, it's the Hanukkiah they are lighting, not a hanukkah. Hanukkiah is the technical name of the menorah, and the term used by Temple Beth Israel in their announcement of the party. Thanks! From Time.com "A menorah, which has only seven candleholders, was the lamp used in the ancient holy temple in Jerusalem — now a symbol of Judaism and an emblem of Israel. A Hanukkiah, however, has nine candlesticks — one for each night of Hanukkah and an extra one to light the others." Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1947041_1947040_1947057,00.html #ixzz2ECUvTUV9
David Lyttle December 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Although Hanukkah lasts for 8 days, the menorah holds 9 candles. The one in the center is for the kindling light called the "Shamus". On the first night, one candle plus the shamus are kindled and so on until the eighth night when there are eight candles plus the shamus ablaze with light. This type of special kindling light can be found in many other cultures.

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