21st - 28th December, 2011
The Jewish festival of Chanukah (also known as the Festival of Lights) is celebrated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. As the Hebrew calendar is based on lunar cycles, the date when expressed in the Gregorian calendar changes every year. This year, Chanukah begins on the evening of Monday, 20th December, 2011 and is celebrated for eight days. The word Chanukah means 'dedication' in Hebrew.
The festival is named such because it is celebrated in remembrance of the cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem brought about by the Maccabean revolt in 2nd Century BCE.
On December nights, one can see through the windows of Jewish homes, small flickering candles set in an eight branched candelabra (the chanukiah) proclaiming a miracle of redemption performed long ago.
During Chanukah, you might like to wish your Jewish friends 'Chag Chanukah Sameach' or 'Happy Chanukah (Hanukkah)'.