This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8, lasting for eight days and ending a week later on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah 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.
Locally, temples are observing the Jewish tradition through community parties and celebration. Temple Tifereth Israel will hold a "Chanukah Dinner Dance" from 6:30-11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at the temple's 539 Salem St. location.
Temple Beth Israel Malden will also hold a "Chanukah Bash" at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at it's 10 Dexter St. location.
Will your family celebrate Hanukkah this year?