Hanukkah comes early due to the lunar calendar


Cooper Brien

This is a Hanukiah for Hanukkah. Jews all over the world light one of these for Hanukkah.

Cooper Brien, Copy Editor

Hanukkah is usually in December but not always. Due to it being on the lunar calendar, it changes every year. Typically Hanukkah is around Christmas time. This year, Hanukkah is on November 28 and ends on December sixth. The lunar calendar is a different calendar than what you usually use. Most families use the Gregorian calendar. That is what holidays like Christmas run on. The lunar calendar is based on the moon’s 29.53 day synodic orbit around the earth. On the lunar calendar, there are 12 months but with all the days, it only adds up to 354 days in a year which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar. That is why Hanukkah is on a different day every year. 

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. It lasts eight nights. During Hanukkah, you light a Hanukiah, you (in most families) get presents and give them, you say the Hanukkah blessings, eat latkes, play dreidel, and so much more. As well as these traditions, we do other things such as listen to music, some songs being Chanukah oh Chanukah and Dreidel as well as Sevivon Sov Sov.  Chanukah can also be spelled like Hanukkah so there are a lot of different ways to say and sing things.

 The Hanukkah tradition and holiday started a long time ago in the city of Jerusalem when King Antiochus took over Jerusalem, burned buildings, and took a lot of things from the old temple in Jerusalem leaving an oil lamp. The amount of oil they had left was only supposed to last one night but instead, it lasted eight nights. That is where the Hanukkah tradition came from and that is also why on a Hanukiah there are nine candles, the ninth being the Shamash,  the helper candle that lights all the others. In the tradition, Antiochus was defeated by a group called the Maccabees. Their leader was Judah Maccabee. 

“I like playing dreidel and lighting the Menorah,” said Izzy Brien, fourth grader.

Other than a Hanukiah, there is also a Menorah. These two objects are often misunderstood. A Menorah has seven branches for candles while a Hanukiah has nine. The Menorah was originally used in the first and second temple before they were both destroyed. They used to be lit daily using olive oil of the best quality. Now, we use a Hanukkiah.