What Causes The First Day Of Hanukkah To Be Moved Around Annually?

Why Hanukkah starts on a different day every year

Although most people spend the time between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December preparing for Christmas, another major holiday, Hanukkah, is rapidly approaching.

Adam Sandler popularised the term “eight crazy nights” to describe the duration of the holiday, which includes more than just the traditional activities of lighting a menorah and playing with a dreidel.

It is true that Jewish people all over the world observe Hanukkah, also spelled “Chanukah,” for a full eight days. The origin of the holiday’s name, which is pronounced kha-nu-kah (Hebrew for “dedication”), lies in its commemoration of the re-dedication of the Holy Temple.

How Long Will We Celebrate Hanukkah This Year?

On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah begins the evening of Kislev 25, which occurs in late November or early December. The eight days of Hanukkah this year fall on December 18–26, which is about three weeks later than the festival’s 2020 occurrence (November 28–December 6).

How Long Will We Celebrate Hanukkah This Year

The Chabad-Lubavitch of Wisconsin explains that the holiday’s roots can be traced back to the second century BCE when a band of Jews took back control of Jerusalem and its Holy Temple.

There was only enough oil for one night when the Jews retook the Temple. But the oil kept burning for a full week. Andrea Alcabes, executive director of the I.J. & Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center, told Nexstar’s KTVX that the tradition of lighting candles to commemorate Hanukkah is carried out over the course of the eight nights it is observed.

The Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Vice President of Leadership and Global Affairs, Rabbi Hannah Wallick, has stated that the lunar calendar is used for Hanukkah rather than the solar one. The dates of Jewish holidays on the solar calendar are subject to change due to the discrepancy between the two calendars.


Methods Of Celebrating Hanukkah

It is customary to light one candle from the Hanukkiah (also known as a “menorah”) each night during the holiday celebration. According to Wallick, a menorah has seven candleholders while a Hanukkiah has eight candleholders and a ninth for a helper candle.

Methods Of Celebrating Hanukkah

It is not uncommon to see menorahs displayed in public places like shopping centers, parks, and even city hall lawns, as well as in the windows of Jewish homes.

According to the Chabad-Lubavitch, the Hebrew letters on a dreidel spell out the phrase “Nes Gadol hayah sham,” which translates to “a great miracle happened there,” so Adam Sandler was also correct about that.

Why Does Hanukkah Change Dates Every Year?

The Gregorian (or solar) calendar, with its standard 365 days, is used for most Western Christian holidays. Jewish holidays, on the other hand, are observed in accordance with a lunisolar calendar, which not only uses the moon’s phases to calculate when a new month begins and ends but also tracks the earth’s orbit around the sun.

As a result of the inconsistencies between the two calendars, the date of Hanukkah appears to move around from year to year. However, on the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah always starts on the 25th of Kislev, the same day as the first Hanukkah celebration.


Exactly When Does Hanukkah Begin?

Hanukkah 2022 will begin on December 18 and end on December 26. Hanukkah can overlap with Thanksgiving in the United States due to the lunisolar calendar’s erratic lengths. In 2013,

Exactly When Does Hanukkah Begin

American Jews celebrated “Thanksgivukkah,” a bizarre once-in-a-lifetime double holiday when Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fell on the same date. Depending on the year, Hanukkah can start on November 28 or on December 27.

Hanukkah, however, traditionally begins in the month of December. It is a common misconception that Hanukkah is the “Jewish Christmas” because of this and the modern custom of exchanging gifts during the holiday.

Despite its association with modern Christmas, Hanukkah predates that holiday by nearly 600 years. Nonetheless, there has been some overlap between Hanukkah and Christmas. Hanukkah started on December 25 in 2005 and will so again in 2024.

Final Words

Since each day’s account of creation in Genesis ends with “And there was evening and there was morning,” the rabbis concluded that each day begins with evening. Therefore, in accordance with the rest of the Hebrew calendar, the holidays also begin in the evening.


  • Karan Sirari

    I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.


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