Hanukkah starts Saturday: Fast Facts - CBS46 News

Hanukkah starts Saturday: Fast Facts

Posted: Updated:
Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
(CNN) -

Here is some background information about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. In 2016, Hanukkah will start on December 24th at sunset and will end January 1st, 2017, at sunset.

Facts:
Hanukkah begins on the eve of the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev and lasts eight days.

The starting date on the western calendar varies from year to year, but usually falls between late November and late December.

Hanukkah is the preferred spelling, but it can also be spelled Chanukah or Chanukkah.

Pronunciation: HAH nu kah

The Hebrew word Hanukkah means dedication.

Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication and Feast of the Maccabees.

Hanukkah is not the Jewish version of Christmas, but often children receive gifts, especially in areas where Jewish and Christian children are in close contact.

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians and the re-dedication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem around 165 BC.

Re-dedication was necessary because Seleucid king of Syria, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, had defiled the Temple by having an altar to Zeus placed there.

When the Maccabees began preparing the Temple for the re-dedication, they found that they only had enough oil to light the Temple for one night. It ended up lasting for eight days, until the delivery of new consecrated oil. Candles are lit each night of Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle.

On the first evening, one candle is lit in a special candelabra called a menorah or hanukkiyah. Beginning on the second night, one candle is added every night until the total reaches eight on the last night.

The candles are lit by a separate candle called a shamash, which is lit first and then is used to light the other candles.

The candles are placed in the menorah from right to left, but are lit from left to right.

One symbol of Hanukkah is the dreidel. A game is played with this four-sided spinning top. Before the Maccabean Revolt, it was illegal for people under the rule of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to read the Torah. When soldiers came through, Jews pretended to play a gambling game involving tops.

Traditional Hanukkah foods, such as the latkes, or potato pancakes, are fried in oil, as another way to incorporate the memory of the Maccabees into the holiday.

TM & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Atlanta Holiday GuideMore>>

  • These stores, restaurants will be open on Christmas Day

    These stores, restaurants will be open on Christmas Day

    Sunday, December 25 2016 4:17 PM EST2016-12-25 21:17:55 GMT

    While everyone would love to stay in and enjoy Christmas with the family, let’s face it—sometimes, circumstances arise and you gotta go out. If that’s the case, here are some places that will be open while you celebrate:

    More >

    While everyone would love to stay in and enjoy Christmas with the family, let’s face it—sometimes, circumstances arise and you gotta go out. If that’s the case, here are some places that will be open while you celebrate:

    More >
  • Hanukkah starts Saturday: Fast Facts

    Hanukkah starts Saturday: Fast Facts

    Friday, December 23 2016 7:01 AM EST2016-12-23 12:01:16 GMT
    Source: MGN OnlineSource: MGN Online

    Here is some background information about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. In 2016, Hanukkah will start on December 24th at sunset and will end January 1st, 2017, at sunset. 

    More >

    Here is some background information about the Jewish holiday Hanukkah. In 2016, Hanukkah will start on December 24th at sunset and will end January 1st, 2017, at sunset. 

    More >
  • SLIDESHOW: Things to talk about at Thanksgiving, instead of politics

    SLIDESHOW: Things to talk about at Thanksgiving, instead of politics

    Tuesday, November 22 2016 4:50 PM EST2016-11-22 21:50:52 GMT

    This election season has been one of the most divisive campaigns in our nation's history.  Friendships have been lost.  Families have been torn apart.  So how do you make it through your family's Thanksgiving gathering without getting into an argument with a loved one?  

    More >

    This election season has been one of the most divisive campaigns in our nation's history.  Friendships have been lost.  Families have been torn apart.  So how do you make it through your family's Thanksgiving gathering without getting into an argument with a loved one?  

    More >