Hanukkah has begun and today we have the Menorah lighting
Hanukkah has begun and today, the lighting of the National Menorah will take place in Washington on The National Mall. They will light the first candle this afternoon. 4 p.m. with entertainment from National Menorah Orchestra and “The Three Cantors,” in addition to Grammy Award-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari. Dreidels, menorahs, hot latkes and jelly doughnuts will be distributed to attendees, and appearances will be made by “Dreidelman” and “The Maccabees.”
Last night, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah began on Christmas Eve. Because the Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar, the 8 days of Hanukkah change every year. When did it last overlap with Christmas and when will it next occur?
The Jewish holiday has only started on Christmas proper four times in the last 100 years: 1918, 1921, 1959, and 2005. However, it has overlapped with Christmas over fifty times in the last 100 years. According to Vox, “With eight total occurrences in 117 years, Hanukkah starts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day roughly once every 15 years.”
The next time the two holidays will overlap will be in 2019. The next time Hanukkah begins on Christmas Day is 2024.
As stated above, the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. According to the United States Naval Observatory, a lunar calendar is based on lunar cycles that begin each month on the darkest day. Other calendars similar to this style are the Chinese, Hindu, and Islamic calendars. However, like the more common solar calendar, aka “Gregorian calendar,” the Hebrew calendar is made up of 7 days a week, about 4 weeks a month, and 12 months every year.
The Jewish New Year, known as Rosh Hashanah, usually occurs in late September or early October every year.
Hanukkah is 8 days long and ends on January 1, 2017.