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Hanukkah 2022 Dates

19 December 2022, Monday
Over the span of eight days, Hanukkah, which is commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights and is spelled both Chanukah and Hanukka, is celebrated by Jews around the world. The Hebrew word for “dedication”, it is the holiday’s purpose to rededicate the Holy Temple. Popularized in the Adam Sandler song “Saturday Night Live”, Hanukkah is more than just lighting a menorah and spinning a dreidel.

What is the date of Hanukkah this year?
This year, the Jewish festival of Hanukkah will begin on December 18 and will last for eight days, concluding on December 26. The holiday commemorates the 2nd century BCE, when the Temple of Jerusalem was reclaimed by a small group of Jews.

To celebrate Hanukkah, candles are lit, with one more candle for each night of the holiday. According to the Chabad-Lubavitch of Wisconsin, the holiday celebrates the miracle of one-day's worth of oil lasting for eight days when the Temple was reclaimed.

The I.J. & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center's Executive Director, Andrea Alcabes, explained that this year's Hanukkah is occurring several weeks later than 2019, when the holiday began on November 28 and ended on December 6.

Rabbi Hannah Wallick, Vice President of Leadership and Global with the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, states Hanukkah follows a lunar calendar rather than the solar one, meaning the Jewish holiday fluctuates on the solar calendar. This could mean Hanukkah could start as late as Dec. 27 in certain years.

How to Celebrate Hanukkah
Every night of Hanukkah, a candle is lit on the Hanukkiah, also known as a menorah. Whereas a menorah typically has seven branches, a Hanukkiah has eight, with an additional candle used to light the others. Jewish households often display menorahs in windows, and they can also be seen in public places such as malls, parks, and city hall lawns.

Another important part of Hanukkah is the dreidel game, in which participants spin a four-sided top inscribed with the letters that form an acronym of the Hebrew phrase “nes gadol hayah sham,” which translates to “a great miracle happened there.”

More Information About Hanukkah
Peter, Paul, and Mary, famous for their song "Puff the Magic Dragon," also put out a Hanukkah song entitled "Light One Candle." Other Hanukkah-themed songs include "Left to Right" by Michelle Citrin and "Hanukkah on Hanukkah" by Erran Baron Cohen, the brother of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

In spite of the time of year it falls near multiple faith-based holidays, Hanukkah is not actually one of the most important Jewish holidays. As Wallick puts it, "it does fall in an auspicious holiday season for other faith traditions, so people are more aware of it."

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