Hanukkah begins this evening and ends 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 this evening.
Here's a look at local celebrations and observances:
- The Bucks County Chanukah Parade will be held this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. starting at the Glazier Jewish Center. The parade will feature marching bands and floats. There will be a giant outdoor Menorah lighting followed by a celebration featuring music, latkas, dreidelmania, refreshments and crafts for children.
- Shir Ami is holding a Family Chanukah Celebration at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. The event will feature a potluck dinner and Shabbat service. RSVP to 215-968-3400.
- There will be a community Shabbat Chanukah Dinner on Friday, Dec. 14 at 6:15 p.m. at the Glazier Jewish Center.
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?