This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Westfield Wheaton will have a menorah lighting ceremony on Dec. 8 from 7-8 p.m. in the mall near Dick's Sporting Goods.
According to Chabad.org, Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. For those of us who aren't attuned to the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enough oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. The oil lasted for eight days, according to the story, and the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting one candle on the menorah each of the eight nights, playing dreidel and eating special holiday foods such as potato latkes and babka.
Curious about more Hanukkah traditions? Patch did a Q&A last December with Rabbi Jack Luxemburg of Rockville's Temple Beth Ami.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?
If your synagogue is having Hanukkah events or services, please add them to our community calendar.