This Jewish festival begins at sunset the evening of Saturday, December 8, 2012. It ends the evening of Sunday, December 16, It commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C. Also known as the Festival of Lights, this is primarily a family celebration. One additional candle is lit each evening of the holiday, traditional foods like potato pancakes (latkes) are eaten, and gifts are exchanged. Jewish homes and synagogues.