Hanukkah is called The Feast of Light

Hanukkah is called The Festival of Light and is remembered annually with sweet treats, 8 days of gift-giving, and 8 days of lighting candles on the menorah. My family celebrates this meaningful holiday every year, with greasy latkes and doughnuts fried in oil.  We love to read the story of the Maccabees and praise God for His wondrous provision.  We reflect on this miraculous story of God’s provision of oil to keep the lamps on the seven-branched golden lampstand (menorah) burning for the entire eight days of the feast with thankful hearts of how God continues to provide in our own lives today. We also celebrate Christmas and praise the Lord for the gift of His Son, Immanuel- God with us! 🎁

I would love to attempt to connect Hanukkah with Jesus’ birth and our Christmas story.  First, we need to remember that Jesus was Jewish and would have attended the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem.   In fact, John 10:22 indicates; Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.” If you keep reading in John 10, Jesus declares Himself to be the Son of God during the Feast of Dedication, otherwise known as Hanukkah. 👑

Did you know that the Bible doesn’t mention the date of Jesus’ birth?  During the 3rd and 4th centuries, eight specific dates were suggested for Jesus’ birth.  The Eastern Church chose January 6th known as Epiphany or Three Kings Day.  The Western Church chose December 25th called “Christ-mass” because it appeased the Romans, Pagans and Christians as it coincides with a pagan feast day as well as the Roman weeklong celebration of the winter solstice. 🎄

Hanukkah starts on the 25th of Kislev, but the dates vary every year (the celebration usually falls between November 27th to December 27th).  The Jewish people use a lunar calendar based on the feasts of the Lord and Western cultures use a solar calendar established by the Roman emperor Constantine. Church leaders knew that Hanukkah was an eight-day Feast of Light that began on the 25th and substituted one feast for the other since their themes were similar, hence Jesus’ Birthday. 🎂

However, Biblical scholars and Messianic Jews agree that Jesus’ birth most likely occurred in either September or October, during the Feast of Tabernacles.  This explains that the Virgin Mary would have conceived Jesus during the feast of Hanukkah in the previous year. One of the unique traditions of Hanukkah is that a woman always lights the first candle of the menorah, they are obligated to light the Hanukkah lamps for they take part in the miracle of life. However, there is only one woman, the Virgin Mary, who is qualified to light the menorah as she took part in bringing the true miracle of light into the world. 🌟


Hanukkah translated means dedication. In scripture, the word Hanukkah was used to describe the first use, the initiation, inauguration or dedication of a house, an altar or a priest. Moses used the word for the dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  It’s also been used for the dedication of the altar in Solomon’s Temple, and the dedication of the Second Temple and wall around Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Interestingly, on the first night of Hanukkah, many Jews quote this passage of Scripture, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3)

Hanukkah celebrates the eternal triumph of God’s light over all darkness. The menorah symbolizes the light of God that will overcome evil and outshine darkness forever. As Christians, we recognize that Jesus Christ is the true light sent from heaven to enlighten a dark world.  Hopefully, you can now appreciate Hanukkah and share the LIGHT of Jesus that lives insides our hearts with others this Christmas.

 Lots of Love,

Rae-Ellen Sanders & The Help Club for Moms Team

Rae-Ellen Sanders
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