Chanukah, also called Hanukkah, is a Jewish festival commemorating religious freedom after the struggle of Jews. The festival goes on for eight successive days and the last day of Chanukah is a celebration to mark the end of Chanukah. In this article, we will talk about the origin and history of the festival, what it means and the customs and celebrations of the celebration.

General Facts about Last Day of Chanukah

Last Day of Chanukah

Date Type Alternative names National holiday
20th December 2017

(dates vary annually)

Religious
  • Last day of Hanukkah
  • Zose Chanukah/Hanukkah
  • Zot Chanukah/Hanukkah
  • Zos Chanukah/Hanukkah
  • Feast of lights
  • Festival of lights
No

What Is Last Day of Chanukah?

The last day of Chanukah marks the end of the annual eight-day Chanukah period and is widely celebrated by American Jews and all Jews around the world. This is a minor Jewish celebration that marks the miracle of oil when the Jews celebrated a cleansing of their temple from the Syrians around 165 BC. Because this celebration is marked by the Jewish calendar, the date is different every year but falls within a certain time frame. This is a period of celebration but not a national holiday, not even in Israel. Jewish schools usually arrange their holiday period to land around the Chanukah period so that families are home for the celebrations.

The History of Last Day of Chanukah

The Jewish people were formerly ruled by Syrians who desecrated their temple of worship. They rebelled against the Syrians in the Maccabean war, and they won in 165 BC. After the victory, their temple was cleansed and rededicated, and there was great rejoicing over this. It is said there was only oil sufficient to burn the lamp for a day during the ritual cleansing but this lamp miraculously kept burning for eight consecutive days. This is the reason why the Chanukah is called the festival or feast of lights. During this festive period, eight candles are put on a special stand, and each one is lighted on every day of the festival. The last day of Chanukah commemorates the final day of this festival when the eight candle is lit, and the whole candelabrum is fully lit.

This period also celebrates the survival of Judaism. Since the event of the miracle of oil happened just after the Jews had gained freedom from their oppressors, the celebration conveys more than an acknowledgment of a miracle but freedom and survival of the entire Jewish religion. Chanukah might me a minor Jewish festival, but it carries great importance to Jews and is celebrated just as sacredly as all other Jewish holidays.

The first day of Chanukah starts sometime around the 25th of the Jewish Kislev month. The eight days following the first day continue until the last day of Chanukah which is usually around the second day the Jewish Tevet month. Just like other Jewish observations, this celebration begins the sunset of the day before the actual date for Chanukah.

Last Day of Chanukah Celebrations

how jews celebrate hanukkah

Many Jews and American Jews celebrate this festival with great joy and enthusiasm. As a custom, families light candles on the Chanukiah or hanukiah. It is a kind of candelabrum designed to hold eight candles. Each one of the candles represents a day that the miraculous oil burned at the ritual cleansing of the Jewish temple. There is a ninth candle called the servants’ candle or Shamash. This sits apart from the eight and is used to light the eight candles on the Chanukiah. On the first day of Chanukah, one candle on the stand is lit. The second candle is lit on the second day, the third on the third day and it goes on like that until the very last day when all candles on the stand will be lit.

Jews also play a game with the dreidel during Chanukah. This toy is a small spinning wheel with four edges and a Hebrew letter carved into each side of the wheel. Each of the letters is a saying that makes up an acronym. The English translation means “A great miracle happened here.” A dreidel is not only used during Chanukah, but that is when it becomes most popular. It is celebrated by singing and celebration. Sweltering potato pancakes and other fried foods are the customary celebration food for this festival. This day summarizes all of Chanukah, so it is especially important.

Final Thoughts

The last day of Hanukkah or Chanukah is hearty celebration and commemoration of the end of an eight-day Jewish holiday which happens every end of the year. Jews all over the world celebrate religious freedom and the miracle of the oil that happened on the day the temple was cleansed in 165 BC. The particular date changes but it always falls between the 25th of Kislev and the 2nd of Tevet in the Jewish calendar.

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