What Time To Light Hanukkah Candles? Find Out Here!

Updated on December 28, 2022

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What Time To Light Hanukkah Candles?

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is celebrated for eight days and nights, and one of the most important traditions is lighting Hanukkah candles. Knowing when to light these candles can be confusing, so it's important to understand the rules and customs surrounding this special holiday. In this article, we'll discuss what time to light Hanukkah candles each night of the festival.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrating the Second Temple's rededication in Jerusalem. It is celebrated with various traditions, including lighting Hanukkah candles each night. The candles are lit on a special nine-branched candelabra called a menorah.

A brief history of Hanukkah

Hanukkah is an ancient Jewish holiday that dates back to the 2nd century BCE. It commemorates the victory of the Maccabees, a small group of Jews who fought against the oppressive Seleucid Empire and rededicated the Second Temple in Jerusalem. The story goes that when they went to the leftmost light of the menorah in the temple, they found only enough oil for one night, but miraculously, the oil lasted eight nights.

When to Light Hanukkah Candles?

The first night of Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. On this night, and each night after that, Hanukkah candles are lit at sundown. The exact time to light the candles will vary depending on where you live and what time sundown is in your area.

In general, it's best to light the candles as soon as possible after sundown. This is because the Hanukkah candles are meant to be lit for a specific amount of time each night, and it's important to make sure that you single light them before this time has passed.

In Israel, this is typically around 4:30 pm in the winter months and 6:30 pm in the summer months. In the United States, the time to single light Hanukkah candles is usually around 5:30 pm in the winter months and 7:30 pm in the summer months.

Lighting the Hanukkah Candles

When lighting the Hanukkah candles, following a specific order is important. The first candle is lit on the far right side of the menorah, and then candles on the night; an additional candle is added from left to right. All eight candles are lit on the eighth and final eighth night of Hanukkah.

How To Light The Hanukkah Candles?

Step 1: Gather Supplies

You will need a menorah, Hanukkah candles, and a lighter or matches.

Step 2: Place the Menorah

Place the menorah in a prominent place where all can see it. It is traditional to place it near a window so that passersby can see the lights of Hanukkah.

Step 3: Light the Shamash Candle

The shamash candle is the middle candle on the menorah and is used to light all other candles. In additional light, this first with your lighter or matches.

Step 4: Light The Other Candles

Starting with the rightmost candle (the shamash), use it to light the other candles on the menorah from left to right. Begin by lighting one candle on the first night and adding candle each succeeding night until all eight are lit on the final night.

Step 5: Recite Prayers

After lighting each candle, recite prayers.

Step 6: Enjoy the Lights

Once all of the candles are lit, enjoy the beauty of the Hanukkah lights. You can also sing traditional Hanukkah songs and share stories about the holiday with your family and friends.

Is Hanukkah Jewsih Chrismastas?

As a result of its proximity to Christmas, many people mistake Hanukkah for "Jewish Christmas." While it's true that Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter celebrations all involve "lights," Hanukkah is more than just the Jewish version of Christmas. Both festivals, however, honor distinct occasions: December 25 celebrates Jesus' birth in the Christian calendar. On Hanukkah, Jews celebrate the miraculous overthrow of Greek tyranny at the hands of the Maccabees.

However, there are similarities between the Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations. The value of spending time together as a family is emphasized in both stories. Both celebrations in the West might be marked by the exchange of presents and share a focus on fresh beginnings and rebirth.

Is Hanukkah relevant today?

Those are all wonderful, everlasting lessons to take away from Hanukkah; are there any ways in which the holiday still has special meaning in our modern world? One-quarter of American Jews have encountered antisemitism in the last year, according to a recent study, and the Hanukkah narrative points to how Jews continue to confront prejudice in today's society.

So, what lessons can we take from the Hanukkah tale about how to deal with the current upsurges of antisemitism? We may turn to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who provided the following response. The Jews fought back and triumphed on Hanukkah. The Maccabees came to represent Jewish resistance and defiance... The message of Hanukkah is to spread household light rather than curse the night. The message is, "Resist, and do not be scared."


Knowing when to light Hanukkah candles is an important part of celebrating this special holiday. The candles should be lit at sundown each night of the festival, and a blessing should be said before lighting them. With these tips, you'll surely have a meaningful and enjoyable Hanukkah celebration.

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of NeoCandle.com where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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