Hanukkah's end coincides with beginning of new year
As Hanukkah came to an end, the year 2017 began, which is unusually late timing for the Jewish holiday.
Based on lunar and solar cycles, the Jewish calendar gets an extra month every few years, causing holiday dates to vary. The last time Hanukkah began and ended on different Gregorian-calendar years was in 2005, when the eighth night fell on Jan. 2, 2006. This year, the holiday ended Jan. 1.
Those who celebrate Hanukkah were free to light the eighth candle of the menorah anytime after nightfall on Dec. 31. But at Grand Army Plaza, they waited until the clock struck midnight, bringing a little extra light into the new year.
Dates change at sundown in the Jewish faith, meaning that on New Year's Eve, lighting in 2016 versus 2017 was up to the individual.