First Day of Hanukkah in Australia
Many Jewish communities in Australia observe the first day of Hanukkah, which marks the start of Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah or Festival of Lights. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish observance that remembers the Jewish people's struggle for religious freedom.
What Do People Do?
Many Jewish Australians start observing Hanukkah on the evening before on the first day of Hanukkah, as many Jewish observances begin at sunset on the day before. The first day of Hanukkah is marked as the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar. The Hanukkah period lasts for 8 days up until the second day of the month of Tevet.
Hanukkah (or Chanukah) often starts with special blessings at sunset the day before the 25th of Kislev. Many Jewish people light the hanukiah (or chanukkiyah), which is a type of candelabrum. Some state governments, such as the New South Wales government, have issued public statements to people celebrating Hanukkah, reminding them to be aware of fire hazards associated with Hanukkah, particularly with regard to using oil and lighting candles.
Hanukkah is a festive period for Jewish communities throughout Australia. Events involving meals, socializing, and games are held in venues such as parks and beaches. Meals that are offered during these events are often foods fried in olive oil, such as potato cakes, and different fried breads. It is also a time for gift-giving so some people order gift baskets to give to others. Hanukkah card games, board games and books are sold in Australia. A toy known as the dreidel is widely popular among both children and adults during Hanukkah.
The first day of Hanukkah is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia. Many Jewish schools have their school vacation fall around the same time of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Syrians in the Maccabean War in 162 BCE. A ritual cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple occurred after the Jewish people’s victory. It is believed that there was only enough consecrated oil to keep the lamp burning for one day but the small bottle of oil miraculously lasted for eight days. Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is referred as the Feast of Lights or Festival of Lights for this reason.
Moreover, the survival of Judaism over the many years is also celebrated during this period. The last day of Hanukkah, which marks the end of Hanukkah, falls on the eighth day of this period.
The dreidel is a toy that is popular during the Hanukkah celebrations. It is a spinning top with a different Hebrew letter inscribed in each of its four sides – the four letters form an acronym meaning “a great miracle happened here”. The hanukiah (or chanukkiyah) is a type of candelabrum that holds eight candles to commemorate the eight days that the oil burned and a ninth candle that sits apart, known as the shamash, or servant candle that lights the others. One candle is lit on the first night, another on the second, and so forth until all candles are lit on the last night.
About First Day of Hanukkah in other countriesRead more about First Day of Hanukkah.
First Day of Hanukkah ObservancesNote: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Thu||Dec 2||2010||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 21||2011||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Dec 9||2012||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Nov 28||2013||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 17||2014||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 7||2015||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Dec 25||2016||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 13||2017||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 3||2018||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 23||2019||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Dec 11||2020||First Day of Hanukkah||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsThe first day of Hanukkah is the start of the Hanukkah period, which lasts for 8 days, from the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the second day of Tevet in the Hebrew calendar.
First Day of Hanukkah 2016Sunday, December 25, 2016
First Day of Hanukkah 2017Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Name in other languages
|First Day of Hanukkah||English|
|Chanukka (Lichterfest) beginnt||German|
Alternative nameFirst Day of Chanukah
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
Other holidays in December 2016 in Australia
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Thursday, December 8, 2016
- Prophet's Birthday – Monday, December 12, 2016
- Christmas Eve – Saturday, December 24, 2016
- Christmas Day – Sunday, December 25, 2016
- Boxing Day – Monday, December 26, 2016
- Christmas/Boxing Day Holiday – Tuesday, December 27, 2016
- New Year's Eve – Saturday, December 31, 2016