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.
Locally, the Cranberry Jewish Community association will be mark the ninth day of Hanukkah with a celebration from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 in the Pittsburgh Room of the Marriott North on Route 228 in Cranberry.
The party’s scheduling will also avoid any conflicts with a different sacred observance—the Pittsburgh Steelers game at Dallas—scheduled to begin at 4:15 that same Sunday, according to the event organizers.
The celebration will feature traditional festive foods, including latkes, jelly doughnuts and fruit. There also will be games, prizes and storytelling. Guests of every age are welcome.
Advance reservations are required. Participants are asked to mail a check for $15 per person to Ruth Ralston, 401 Three Degree Road, Renfrew, PA 16053.
For additional events happening around the Pittsburgh area, check out the community calendar on jfedpgh.org
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.
If you are looking for Hanukkah foods, Giant Eagle features a Hanukkah section on its website. Whole Foods' website also gives customers a "Hanukkah Dishes Worth Sharing" and "Stock up on These Hanukkah Essentials", which you can access by clicking here.
TELL US: If you observe Hanukkah, what are your plans?