Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish holiday known as the Festival of Lights. Celebrated by many people worldwide, Hanukkah is a time to remember the ancient Jewish victories over powerful imperial forces. Different countries have different customs and traditions surrounding the holiday, making it an exciting and diverse celebration.
In Europe, Hanukkah is frequently celebrated in the home with traditional rituals and meals. Latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) are traditionally served during the holiday, in remembrance of the food miracle that took place during the rededication of the second temple as described in the Hanukkah story. Other European traditions include singing traditional Hanukkah songs and crafting clay and paper dreidels.
In Morocco, Hanukkah is widely celebrated and commemorated in the home . Throughout the festival, a variety of special foods—including a dessert known as Bourekas, a crispy phyllo pastry filled with mashed dates and almonds— are served. Menorah lighting is also a popular tradition, which is said to bring good luck.
In Iran, the festival of Hanukkah is celebrated in a way that is unique to the Persian culture. In celebration of the interplay between light and darkness, children gather around a symbolic holiday cake. Together they recite the prayer for the holiday and cut pieces of the cake in a game of luck known as Sharaf be-reshen. The person who gets the centerpiece of the cake is said to have special luck and will be blessed for good fortune throughout the coming year.
No matter which corner of the globe one visits, the spirit of Hanukkah is alive and celebrated in a unique and wonderful way. Whether it’s playing special games, eating special foods or lighting the menorah to celebrate this miracle, Hanukkah is a special and universal holiday, and the many different customs and rituals make for a beautiful and meaningful way to commemorate it.
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Last update 2023-11-21. Price and product availability may change.