Eight Crazy Posts! (#7)

Tonight is the seventh night of Hanukkah. Only tomorrow night remains and then it’s all over until…when?

Hanukkah 2009 begins at sundown on December 11! It’s gonna be great; that means that next year, I’ll be done celebrating Hanukkah just as the last-minute Christmas shoppers are just getting revved up. Confused? Let me explain.

While Christmas falls on the same day of the Gregorian calendar each year, Hanukkah is different…on the GREGORIAN calendar. On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah actually does fall on the very same day annually: the 25th day of the month Kislev.

The Hebrew calendar is different from the Gregorian (January-December) calendar. In order to make a long story short, some of the differences between the two calendars, with the help of Wikipedia:

**The Hebrew Calendar is a lunar calendar; the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar.

**Though there are still seven days per week on a Hebrew calendar, the Jewish day runs from sunset to sunset rather than 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. as on the Gregorian calendar.

**Because the lunar months are twenty-nine or thirty days long, the Hebrew calendar adds an extra month every two to three years. The month that is added is Adar I, which follows Shevat and precedes the original Adar, or Adar II, on those years.

**Currently we are in the year 5769 on the Hebrew calendar, because the Hebrew calendar year counts from the Creation year and is designated as 5769 Anno Mundi (in the year of the world) or A.M., rather than our Gregorian year of 2008 Anno Domini (in the year of our Lord) or A.D.

So although it makes no sense to people who have never heard of the Hebrew calendar or don’t know how it works, now you know why the Jewish holidays always seem so scattered all over the place.

The dates for Hanukkah for 2010-2015 give you an idea how willy-nilly our holiday seems; every few years it even begins in November!

Hanukkah dates:
* Wednesday December 1 in 2010
* Tuesday December 20 in 2011
* Saturday December 8 in 2012
* Wednesday November 27 in 2013
* Tuesday December 16 in 2014
* Sunday December 6 in 2015

Maybe I should start my holiday cards for next year now



  • Melissa

    I remember many a year celebrating both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah at the same time at my Grandparent’s friends house.

    I can imagine on the years that it’s over before Christmas how donw you must be with the whole holiday experience…I know by the time New Year’s rolls around I’m pretty much ready to bag the whole deal!

  • Weaselmomma

    I am loving the ‘Jew stuff’ lessons, but must say that I am just as confused about the why’s as ever. Kind of like Easter. I know it’s on the lunar calender but have to check my regular calendar to see when it is.

  • Melisa

    Melissa: I actually LOVE it when Hanukkah starts in November for that very reason: just to be done with our stuff…then winter break *is* really a vacation!

    Huckdoll: Well thanks for stopping in!

    Weaselmomma: Now I’m curious about Easter too!

    Deanna: Odd, yes! I’m checking out your link…

  • Anonymous

    This is Jim. Here is the reason for Easter not being fixed on the regular caledar.

    From Wikipedia: “Easter is termed a moveable feast because it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. Easter falls at some point between late March and late April each year (early April to early May in Eastern Christianity), following the cycle of the moon. After several centuries of disagreement, all churches accepted the computation of the Alexandrian Church (now the Coptic Church) that Easter is the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first moon whose 14th day (the ecclesiastic “full moon”) is on or after March 21 (the ecclesiastic “vernal equinox”).”

    There you go:-)

  • Melisa

    Thanks Jim. xoxo

    He’s awesome: The older boy was kicking my a$$ in air hockey, so I asked Jim to look that up for me. 🙂

  • Michelle

    Forget starting your holiday cards for next year now — start your cards for 2013 now 🙂 I forget that sometimes it’s so early into November. Personally if I were Jewish, I’d prefer that it fall after Christmas so I could buy all my Hanukkah gifts on clearance 😉

    OH! And I *just* finished writing out my ummm New Years cards a few minutes ago so into the mail they go tomorrow! Here’s hoping that San Antonio has better mail delivery than Orlando did 😉

  • Dea

    Well, and technically, Easter is based off of Passover as well….I mean, Jesus was supposedly doing the first Communion at a Passover dinner…so it would make sense that Easter would coincide with a Judaic calendar, no?

    That, and the birth of Christ shouldn’t have been fixed to December 25th, not technically either. But then we get into all the pagan ties of the Christian holiday placements…and that, my friends, doesn’t fit into Eight Crazy Posts…