Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem and is celebrated with prayers, family gatherings, special foods, gift giving, and lighting of a special eight-branched menorah. It is a time of joy, peace, and harmony in the Jewish faith. Whether you are from the Jewish faith or not, Hanukkah is an amazing holiday that everyone can enjoy. Here is a guide on how to celebrate Hanukkah.
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Lighting the Menorah
The ritual of lighting the Menorah is one of the most important traditions of Hanukkah. On each night, a special blessing is recited before the candles are lit. Starting with only one candle on the first night, another one is added for each of the following nights until all eight candles are lit on the final night. It is a beautiful sight and a reminder of the miraculous victory of the Maccabees over the oppressive Syrian-Greek government. The Menorah should be lit just before or at sunset and can be placed in a window to share the message of Hanukkah with the rest of the world.
Hanukkah Gelt and Dreidels
A major part of celebrating Hanukkah is giving and receiving gifts of gelt (chocolate coins) and dreidels (spinners). The gelt symbolizes the small amount of oil that lasted for eight days and the dreidel is used for a popular game of chance and skill. Each player is given a set amount of gelt that is wagered and placed in the center of the playing area. Players then take turns spinning the dreidel and depending on the outcome, they receive or give back some of the gelt from the pot.
Eating Special Hanukkah Foods
There is a variety of special Hanukkah foods that are traditionally eaten during the celebration. One of the most popular foods is latkes, which are small potato pancakes made from grated potatoes, onions, and matzo meal. These are usually served with applesauce or sour cream for a delicious snack. Another popular dish is sufganiyot, which are jelly-filled doughnuts. These treats are usually made from flour, yeast, and flavored with spices such as ginger and nutmeg.
Singing Hanukkah Songs
Singing is a big part of Hanukkah and is a great way to teach your children about the holiday. Popular Hanukkah songs include Ma’oz Tzur (Rock of Ages) and Haneirot Halalu (These Lights). These songs are often accompanied by dancing and bring joy and laughter to the whole family.
Hanukkah is a truly special holiday. By following these traditions and guidelines, it is sure to be a festive and joyous season. Lighting the menorah and singing Hanukkah songs will bring a special glow to each evening. Eating special foods such as latkes and sufganiyot is a delicious way to re-connect with the holiday’s spiritual and historical significance. Bringing friends and family together to play dreidel will make the holiday complete. Hanukkah is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate the joyous spirit of the Jewish people.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.