Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, starts Tuesday at sundown when the first candle is lit on the hanukkiyah, a type of menorah with eight candleholders in a row and a ninth above the others. A candle is lit each night from Dec. 20-28.
The holiday marks the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem, when ritual oil miraculously lasted eight days. To learn more about Hanukkah (or Chanukah), visit this Huffington Post article that explains the dates, customs and history of the celebration.
Children particularly enjoy this holiday because of the gifts, food celebrations (latkes and donuts) and games (dreidel, the spinning top with four Hebrew letters: nun, gimel, hei and shin, an acronym for "a great miracle happened there)."
Local temples with services and celebrations:
- Arnold, Temple Beth Shalom: Dec 23: Friday Shabbat service and Hanukkah celebration, 7:30 p.m.
- Annapolis, Congregation Kneseth Israel: Dec. 23: Kabbalat Shabbat Services, 4:30 p.m.; Candle lighting, 4:30 p.m. Dec. 25: Chanukah dinner
- Annapolis, Congregation Kol Shalom Dec. 23 services, 8 p.m.
- Bowie, Temple Solel: Contact synagogue for information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-249-2424.