Before answering to the question of when is Hanukkah, it is probably better to let you know what Hanukkah is exactly. If you already familiar with this topic, you are strongly advised to skip next part to the very end. If you are not, then read it carefully and pay attention to the details.
So, what is Hanukkah and why there is such term as first day of it? Hanukkah is a religious Jewish holiday that is observed in order to commemorate the sanctification of one of the most important temples in Jerusalem, which is known by the couple of names, such as Second Temple and Holy Temple.
What is interesting about Hanukkah that is the fact that this significant holiday’s celebration lasts for more than week. To be precise, it lasts for eight days straight. That explains why people tend to ask when the first day of this holy period will be and never say something like “Hey, John, when is Hanukkah?”
So, when is First Day of Hanukkah in 2017 will be? It is being celebrated from the twenty-fifth day of Kislev to the second day of Tevet. And if you have no clue what that means, then don’t worry, because we will translate it for you into more familiar and understandable calendar. The date of Hanukkah set not according to well-known Gregorian calendar, which is popular all across the globe and often being considered standard by most of modern countries. As happens with many other Jewish holidays, Hanukkah’s date is set according to Jewish calendar, too. That makes sense, right?
Now then, to spare you some time, we already figured the right day to answer this question. The observation will begin at the twelfth of December and will end at the twentieth of December. So, from 12th December morning to the very evening of December, 20th the celebration will continue.
How to celebrate Hanukkah
First of all, Hanukkah is pretty well-known as some kind of Jewish Christmas, and while this is not exactly correct, these two holidays still have a lot in common. This applies to many different features, from the timing to very similar traditions of wrapping gifts. So, let’s take a closer look at both celebrations and find the differences.
The very question of what day First Day of Hanukkah in 2017 is commonly considered related to the same question about Christmas, but in reality both this holidays can be celebrated at the same time. And while Christmas mostly just marks the end of yearly cycle and has little to do with actual Christianity, Hanukkah is pure religious observance that commemorates real historical event.
Hanukkah is not an official holiday in majority of countries, including United States of America and Great Britain, but some of Jewish schools still have vacations on this date. Scholars have a chance to spend some time with their families, helping with preparations and directly celebrating the vastly important sacred days of Hanukkah.
So, the formal part of celebration starts at the first day with special Hanukkah blessing. Usually, those who celebrate this holiday light some kind of chandelier with nine candles. Those chandeliers frequently decorated with the Star of David, the six-point star that consists of two intersecting triangles. Eight of nine candles are lit one after another every night, so the number of lights increases by one each night.
We will skip some of the common rituals, such as daily prayers and prayers after meal. Instead we will focus on more special parts of celebrations. Some of them are family and others are public. But first, it is pertinent to remind you the answer to a question of what is the date of First Day of Hanukkah 2017. This year, the festivals of Hanukkah fall on time period from 12th to 20th of December, so the first day is obviously December, 12th.
Not with that settled, let’s move on. There three special blessings that are being read over the small light of sacred chandelier during feasting. And while on the first night all three of them are said, on the rest of nights Jews stick only to first and second. And every time after that contribution unique song, or rather hymn, is being performed. It has few different versions. The choice depends on local commune and varies from one place to another.
Fasting is strictly prohibited during eight days of Hanukkah. Same goes for eulogizing. Also, women are strongly recommended to not to work while holy candles are burning. These rules are treated with respect in almost every community that consists of Jews.
The importance of Hanukkah
All across the history of mankind in general, Jews had to beat lot of pain and suffered from countless disasters. From unlucky geographical location of Israel and to World War Two they bravely fought for survival, while also keeping their traditions and never betraying their religion. And talking about religion suppression, we have to say about times when Judaism was outlawed. That happened a long time ago, when Antiochus the Fourth massacred thousands of those who followed the strict path of this religion.
As time passed, Jews were able to restore control and finally get rid of foreign pressure. Thus, in 165 BCE they recaptured their shrine, the main temple of Jerusalem and rededicated it. That was the glorious day of Hanukkah, the day, when it all began.
This is obviously what settled an answer for when is First Day of Hanukkah 2017 once and for all, just like it settled answers to same questions for any other years both in past and future. Modern Jewish community still remembers and honors the vastly important date of 165 BCE.
Nowadays the very celebration of Hanukkah is some kind of symbol of freedom and power of Jewish communes all around the globe. It is unimaginable to think of such wars and suppressions in our times, as happened thousands of years before. Mankind walked a long way to tolerance and peace during past few centuries and hopefully this process will not ever stop.
So, if you feel strong bound with free and independent Jewish community, you might as well remember when First Day of Hanukkah is in 2017 and mark it in your calendar. Then, you can attend to celebration or simply support those who celebrate.