The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated each year during the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (usually in December). The central ritual of Hanukkah is the nightly menorah lighting. On each of the eight nights of the holiday, one additional candle is lit. So the question becomes, how many candles are for Hanukkah?
The answer is: eight. On the first night of Hanukkah, the first candle of the menorah is lit. On each subsequent night, an additional candle is lit until all eight candles are burning, which happens on the eighth and final night.
The menorah is traditionally lit with shamash, or a “servant” candle. This candle is used to light the other eight candles on the menorah. After the candles have been lit, a blessing is said, thanking God for commanding a Jewish priest to re-dedicate the temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean revolt.
In traditional Jewish homes, it is customary to begin lighting candles early in the evening, at sundown. This occurs after the fourth blessing has been said, sung or recited in the presence of friends and family (often gathered for a Hanukkah feast). The candle-lighting procedure usually starts with the shamash (servant) candle, which is lit first and used to light the other eight candles of the menorah.
Each night of Hanukkah, another candle is added to the menorah, one by one. On the eight night (the climax of the holiday celebration), all eight candles are burning. The menorah provides a visual representation of the miracle of Hanukkah, which is a reminder of the oil that lasted eight days instead of the one day that it should have.
The variety of ways to light candles on the menorah (for example, in a row or around the menorah) is unique to each family. When lighting the menorah, the candles are placed from right to left, and each night, the newest candle is placed farther left than the candles in the previous days.
In conclusion, the answer to the question “How many candles are for Hanukah?” is eight. On each night of the holiday, one additional candle is lit. With the proper representation of the miracle of Hanukkah, the menorah serves as a reminder to all of the lights of goodness that God brought to the Jewish people.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.