Mark your calendars for the 25th day of the month of Kislev. That's when Hanukkah starts in 2012.
For those of us who aren't so tuned into the Jewish calendar, that translates to sundown on Saturday Dec. 8. The holiday, also called the Festival of Lights, lasts eight days.
Hanukkah commemorates the story of the Maccabean Revolt against Syrian rulers in present day Israel 2,300 years ago. The Maccabees wanted to rededicate Jerusalem's main temple but had only enought oil to kindle the Eternal Light for one day. Yet the oil lasted for eight, according to the story, and thus the holiday of Hanukkah was born.
Today, Jews generally celebrate by gathering together with family, lighting a menorah over the course of eight days, playing dreidel and eating special holiday food, like potato latkes.
Temple Sholom in Fanwood will be holding their annual Shabbat and Chanukkah dinner on Dec. 14.
The temple dinner will be catered by Mariannos, including foods such as chicken fingers, portabello mushroom ravioli and latkes. The cost is $12 for adults and $8 for childrem.
At 6 p.m. will be the Musical Shabbat Hanukkah Service with readings by kindergarten to second graders. Followed by the Shabbat Dinner, dreidel and celebration at 7 p.m.
Also on Friday Dec. 14, the Sisterhood and "CBI Players" are hosting a Shabbat Family Dinner and Hanukkah show at Congregation Beth Israel on Martine Avenue.
Families can enjoy a Hanukkah meal and a show followed by Hanukkah services at 7:30 p.m.
On Dec. 16, Congregation Beth Israel is holding their annual Hanukkah party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At the celebration will be food and games, as well as a magician.
For more information on Hanukkah in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, visit cbinj.org.