Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) in the United States
Many Jewish communities in the United States 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.
Jewish communities in the United States celebrate the first day of Hanukkah on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar. The Hanukkah period lasts for eight days and is celebrated from the 25th day of Kislev to the second day of Tevet. The first night of Hanukkah (or Chanukah) starts with special blessings at sunset the day before the 25th of Kislev. Many Jewish people light the menorah, also known as the hanukiah (or chanukkiyah), which is a type of candelabrum.
Many Americans of Jewish faith also eat food fried in olive oil, such as potato cakes, and different fried breads. Hanukkah dishes include sufganiot (Hanukkah donuts), potato latkes (pancakes), mandelbrot (this can be sliced like a hard bread), and rugelach (pastry that with different fillings). The first day of Hanukkah is the start of a celebratory period in which a four-sided toy called dreidel is used for games. The first night of Hanukkah is also a night when people sing traditional songs to celebrate Hanukkah. Gift-giving is also popular at this time of the year.
The first day of Hanukkah is not a federal public holiday in the United States. Some Jewish schools have their school vacation fall around the same time of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Greeks 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.
About Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) in other countriesRead more about Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day).
Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) 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||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 21||2011||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Dec 9||2012||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Thu||Nov 28||2013||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 17||2014||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 7||2015||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Sun||Dec 25||2016||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Wed||Dec 13||2017||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 3||2018||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Mon||Dec 23||2019||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
|Fri||Dec 11||2020||Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||Jewish holiday|
Quick FactsThe first day of Hanukkah is the start of the Hanukkah period, which lasts for eight days, from the 25th day of the month of Kislev to the second day of Tevet in the Hebrew calendar.
Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) 2017Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day) 2018Monday, December 3, 2018
Name in other languages
|Chanukah/Hanukkah (first day)||English|
|Hanukkah – første dag||Norwegian|
|Chanukka (erster Tag)||German|
Alternative nameFestival of Lights (first day)
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
- Last Day of Chanukah – Sunday, January 1, 2017, Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Other holidays in December 2017 in the United States
- The Prophet's Birthday – Friday, December 1, 2017
- First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 3, 2017
- St Nicholas' Day – Wednesday, December 6, 2017
- Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day – Thursday, December 7, 2017
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Friday, December 8, 2017
- Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Tuesday, December 12, 2017
- National Guard Birthday – Wednesday, December 13, 2017
- Pan American Aviation Day – Sunday, December 17, 2017
- Last Day of Chanukah – Wednesday, December 20, 2017
- Christmas Eve – Sunday, December 24, 2017
- Christmas Day – Monday, December 25, 2017
- Kwanzaa (until Jan 1) – Tuesday, December 26, 2017
- New Year's Eve – Sunday, December 31, 2017