This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on 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 on Saturday, Dec. 8.
There are several Hanukkah events planned in and around Beacon Hill. Many events require registration:
- Public Menorah Lighting on Boston Common, free, daily Dec. 8-15, 4 p.m.
- Chanukkah in the City at the Back Bay Events Center, free, Sunday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m.
- Family Chanukkah Celebration at the Boston Synagogue, free, Sunday, Dec. 9, 11 a.m.
- Chanukkah Sushi Party at Chabad of Downtown Boston, free, Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.
- Chanukah Lights Musical Celebration at the Vilna Shul, $18, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m.
- Chanukkah Lego Party, Chabbad of Downtown Boston, free, Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.
- , free, Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m.
- Young Professional's Chanukkah Celebration at The Boston Synagogue, free, Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m.
- Chanukkah in Copley Square, free, Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m.
Looking for more local celebrations? Jewishboston.com lists hundreds of eventsfrom all over the greater Boston area.
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?