This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, and ends a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
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.
Here in Newton, there are many special Hanukkah events scheduled:
PUBLIC MENORAH LIGHTING ON NEWTON CENTRE GREEN, corner of Langley Road and Centre Streets
- Sun., Dec. 9, 4 p.m. - Sponsored by Chabad of Newton Centre. Donuts, dreidels, gelt and gifts are available for the kids.
CHANUKAH FAMILY FESTIVAL, at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St.
- Sun., Dec. 9, 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Chabad at Chestnut Hill. A fun-filled event for the whole family including a balloon Menorah, a balloon show, live music, special Chanukah treats, Chanukah-themed crafts and a photo booth where you can dress up as a Dreidel or Judah The Macabee.
MENORAH LIGHTING AT STAR MARKET CHESTNUT HILL, 1 Boylston St.
- Tues., Dec. 11, 4:30 p.m. - Sponsored by the Chabad at Chestnut Hill. Jelly donuts, chocolate Gelt and a chance to meet Judah the Macabee. RSVP appreciated - firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHABAD OF NEWTON CENTRE
- Tues., Dec. 11, 11 a.m. - Chanukah Story Hour at Newtonville Books.
- Tues., Dec. 11, 8 p.m. - Chanukah party for adults. Latkes, L'Chaim's and laughs. Reserve your spot online.
- Fri., Dec. 14, 5 p.m. - Chanukah community Friday night Kiddush. Reserve your spot online.
CHABAD AT CHESTNUT HILL, 163 Bellingham Road
- Sat., Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. - Latkes and Lattes, the Chanukah party for adults. Featuring renowned ventriloquist Kevin Driscoll. Tickets are $18 for an early bird special (before Dec. 8), $22 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information or to RSVP please call 617-738-9770 or email email@example.com. You can also RSVP online.
CONGREGATION BETH EL-ATERETH ISRAEL, 561 Ward St., Newton Centre
- Sun., Dec. 16, 10 a.m. - Children's Chanukah carnival. $5/person. Light snacks will be served. Please bring an unwrapped toy that will be donated to Hurricane Sandy victims.
TEMPLE BETH AVODAH, 45 Puddingstone Ln., Newton Centre
- Fri., Dec. 14, 6:45 p.m. - Hanukkah community dinner. Bring your own Hanukah menorah to services for a community candle lighting at the conclusion of the Shabbat Service. A traditional Hanukah dinner will follow, presided over by Rabbi Stern. RSVP online.
TEMPLE EMANUEL, 385 Ward St., Newton
- Tues., Dec. 11, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. - Community Hanukkah celebration in Adelson Community Hall. From 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., enjoy latkes and other light fare. From 6:45 p.m. - 8 p.m., community candle lighting, singing and a special musical performance Elana Jagoda and her band. A dessert reception will start at 8 p.m. RSVP necessary. Questions? Contact Terri Swartz Russell
- Sun., Dec. 9, 4:30 p.m. - Chanukah party. Candle lighting, latkes, a light dinner, arts & crafts and more. The event will be held at the First Unitarian Society in Newton.
TEMPLE REYIM, 1860 Washington St., Auburndale
- Sun., Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m. - Reyim-wide Chanukah lunch and celebration. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
TEMPLE SHALOM OF NEWTON, 175 Temple St., West Newton
- Fri., Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m. - Congregational Shabbat Chanukah dinner. Shabbat service at 6:30 p.m. followed by the congregational Shabbat Chanukah dinner at 7:30 p.m. RSVP online.
THE ADAMS STREET SHUL, 168 Adams St., Newton
- Sat., Dec. 8, 7 p.m. - 101st Annual Chanukah Party. Music, food, fake tattoos, kids story time, Dreidel-spinning game, dancing, crafts and more. Admission is $8 per person for members, $10 per person for non-members; except that there is a $25 maximum per family for members, $36 maximum for non-members.
Did we miss any events? Make sure to add them in the comments section below!
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. Check out these delicious Hanukkah recipes from Patch correspondent Wendy Schapiro (Part 1 and Part 2) -- and make sure to tune in tomorrow morning for a fresh batch of recipes!
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?