When is Hanukkah 2021? Where does the holy Jewish festival originate from?

Hanukkah: Jewish festival of light explained

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Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is celebrated by millions of Jews around the world each year. Across the eight days people rejoice through prayers, lighting the menorah (an elaborate candelabra), family gatherings, exchanging gifts and feasting. Below is a guide to the festival and its key dates for 2021.

What are the key dates for Hanukkah 2021?

Traditionally, Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev (the ninth month of the year).

This means the festival can fall within the months of November and December.

For this year Hanukkah will begin on November 29 and finish on December 6.

One of the key traditions of Hanukkah is lighting the menorah each evening.

The menorah is a traditional Jewish lampstand with eight candles.

Here, each candle represents one of the eight days in Hanukkah.

People also celebrate across the eight days of the festival through daily prayers, feasting with family and singing.

Where does Hanukkah originate from?

Hanukkah’s origins can be traced back to Israel more than 2,000 years ago, during a period where the Jews were ruled over by the Greek empire.

Under Greek rule, the Jews and their religious traditions were oppressed against.

Eventually, the Jews rebelled and won a three-year war against the Greeks to practice their religion freely.

To celebrate their victory the Jews lit an oil lamp.

Despite only having enough oil to burn for one day the lamp miraculously kept its flame for eight days giving way to Hanukkah.

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