Thursday marks the first day of Hanukkah this year, which occurs any time from late November to early December on the Gregorian calendar (the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar). Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days, starting at sunset the night before the first day – that’s tonight.
The word Hanukkah comes from the Hebrew word for “dedication” or “consecration”. This holiday marks the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem in around 162 BCE. It is said that there was only enough oil to burn the flame inside of the temple for one day, however it lasted for eight- hence, eight candles to be lit.
Today, Hanukkah is celebrated both communally and just with family. Although it is still ok to work, many people like to head home a bit earlier to make sure they can light their candles at nightfall. There are also some traditional foods eaten around this time, depending on regions and ethnicity. Many are fried or baked in oil, like latkes (potato pancakes) and pontshkes (jam filled doughnuts).
We have a few people who work in the office celebrating Hanukkah this year. Do you know anyone celebrating the holiday this year?