Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2019

Hanukkah greetings: How do you wish someone a happy Hanukkah?

Every year Jews around the world commemorate the Hanukkah holiday, which lasts eight nights and days. Because Jewish people don’t observe Christmas, Hanukkah is an opportunity for them to celebrate at the end of the year.

Hanukkah 2019

The eight-day holiday takes place late in December every year.

This year, the Jewish community will be revelling at the same time as those who celebrate Christmas, as Hanukkah starts at nightfall on December 22.

The holiday will then end at nightfall on December 30, at 4.39pm.

The date of the holiday on the western Gregorian calendar changes every year because Hanukkah runs on two different calendars.

If you want a blessing for lighting the candles, you can say: “Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner Hanukkah”.

This translates as: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.”

Or a blessing for the miracles of Hanukkah reads: “Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, she’asa nisim la’avoteinu ba’yamim ha’heim ba’z’man ha’ze.”

This means: “Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, Who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time.”

The Festival of Lights

Hanukkah’s history stretches back more than 2,000 to the second century BC.

Nearly 2,200 years ago, the Jewish fought and lost a war against the Greek.

A group, the Maccabees, later revolted against the Greeks and, after finding their temple in Jerusalem damaged, they rededicated it from the Greeks’ pantheon back to God.

After the rededication, the Jewish people lit a candelabra with eight separate candles – known as a menorah.

The menorah burned for eight days despite having just a day’s supply of oil.

To celebrate this miracle, Hanukkah observers light the candles on their own menorah each night during the holiday for eight nights.

One raised candle in the middle, the Shamash, is used to light the other candles and the menorah is traditionally placed in windows or doorways.

This is why Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights.

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