Hanukkah starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and last for eight days. In 2010, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1st and ends on December 9th.T here are many customs and traditions which are followed in the celebration of the Hanukkah holiday, and one of the most important parts of celebrating this great day is setting up the Menorah. Some people just use a conventional menorah, some let their ideas run free and make their own out of whatever materials that is available (clay, cartons, etc).
A Hanukkah menorah or Hannukiah has eight candleholders that looks like branches, with an extra holder usually in the center placed a little higher than the others dividing four branches on each side. The extra candleholder in the center is used for the Shamash, the lead candle in order to light the actual Chanukah candles. The word Shamash literally means the attendant. (A parish officer in the synagogue is also called a Shamash, because he is the synagogue attendant to usher and keep order during services.)
The Menorah Is traditionally set up in the central doorway, on the left side of the front door, however, if you do not have a Mezuzah (A mezuzah is a sacred parchment inscribed by hand with two portions of Torah. It is stored in a protective case and hung on the doorposts of Jewish homes) at your entrance door, then the Menorah should be placed to the right of the doorframe. Others have the custom of placing it on any windows facing the street where people who are passing by can see it. For other Jewish person who lives in apartment buildings, if all possibilities cannot be done, placing it in the center of your table will serve its meaning, what is important is the Menorah can be seen by other person who happens to pass by your door.