The countdown to Hanukkah is underway.
With only a couple of weeks remaining, families across Greater Cincinnati are gearing up for the eight-day Jewish celebration, commemorated by the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of one day's worth of oil lasting for eight days after Syrian Greeks defiled the Jerusalem Temple before the Maccabees, a group of Jewish soldiers, defeated them.
Here's everything to know about Hanukkah 2022.
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When is Hanukkah 2022?
Hanukkah begins after sundown on Sunday, Dec. 18, this year, and ends after sundown on Monday, Dec. 26.
The holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev each year, the ninth month of the Jewish calendar.
The Hebrew calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the Old Farmer's Almanac reports, so Jewish holidays are celebrated on different dates every year. The start of Hanukkah typically ranges from the end of November to the end of December.
How is Hanukkah celebrated?
Hanukkah is often called the Festival of Lights because the annual holiday, celebrated for eight consecutive nights, features the lighting of a nine-stemmed candelabra called the menorah. The menorah differs from other candelabras because it includes an extra candle, called the shammes or shammash, used to light the other eight candles.
According to Chabad, the menorah lighting "usually occurs at home, in a doorway or near a window." However, communal menorah lightings also occur during the eight-day celebration.
Other Hanukkah customs include playing with dreidels and eating festive foods such as latkes, or potato pancakes, and doughnuts.
How two Cincinnati rabbis played a role in popularizing Hanukkah
Did you know two Cincinnati rabbis popularized Hanukkah in America?
Hanukkah is regarded as a minor Jewish holiday outside of the U.S. However, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise of Plum Street Temple and Rabbi Max Lilienthal of Mound Street Temple introduced Hanukkah festivals to the region after the Civil War. They also promoted them in their publications, which were sent to Jewish communities nationwide.
Hanukkah celebrations have since become a tradition in synagogues across the globe, especially in the U.S.
When is the Fountain Square menorah lighting?
The Chabad Menorah Lighting will take place Monday, Dec. 19, in Fountain Square from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Other Hanukkah events in Greater Cincinnati
Hanukkah at Fountain Square
When: Dec. 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Fountain Square.
What: An outdoor menorah lighting with a light show, ice skating, bumper cars, food and more.
Learn more at https://mayersonjcc.org/event/hanukkah-at-fountain-square-2/.
Rockwern Let it Glow
When: Dec. 18-22 and Dec. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Where: Rockwern Academy (8401 Montgomery Road, Kenwood).
What: A drive-thru light show.
Learn more at rockwernacademy.org.
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Menorah Lights on the Levee
When: Dec. 18.
Where: Newport on the Levee (1 Levee Way, Newport).
What: An outdoor menorah lighting.
Learn more at newportonthelevee.com/menorah-lights-on-the-levee.
Chanukah Hakhel in OTR
When: Dec. 20 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Music Hall Plaza in Washington Park (1230 Elm Street, Over-the-Rhine).
What: A menorah lighting with an interactive Chanukah art performance, food, music and prizes.
Learn more at jewishcincinnati.org.
Three Acts: Jewish Over-the-Rhine
When: Dec. 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Hall (1225 Elm Street, Over-the-Rhine).
What: This program features three talks about the role and impact of Jewish residents in Over-the-Rhine and the West End.
Learn more at otrmuseum.org/events/jewish-over-the-rhine.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: When is Hanukkah 2022? What to know about the holiday