The Hanukkah holiday is known for its candles and it holds a special place in many Jewish families. Hanukkah marks the victory of a small group of Jews, led by Judah Maccabee, over the oppressive Syrian Greek kingdom around 165 BCE. During the eight-day celebration, Hanukkah candles are lit to commemorate the miracle that happened during the rededication of the Temple. So the question arises, how many candles are on the Hanukkah Menorah?
A Hanukkah Menorah is a special nine-branched candelabra which is lit for the eight days of Hanukkah. A special Shamash candle, or helper candle, is used to light the other eight candles. Each day, one new candle is lit, until all eight candles are lit on the last day of Hanukkah. Traditionally, an olive oil-based substitute for candles was used, but today, paraffin candles are often used. The traditional Hanukkah Menorah has eight branches and holds nine candles.
How Many Candles Are On The Hanukkah?
The Hanukkah Menorah that is lit for the holiday always has eight branches and holds a total of nine candles. The nine candles are made up of eight traditional Hanukkah candles that are lit each night for eight days and one additional candle, the Shamash, or “helper” candle, which is used to light the other candles.
The Eight Traditional Hanukkah Candles
The eight traditional Hanukkah candles represent the eight nights of the holiday. Each night, one additional candle is lit until all eight candles are lit on the last night of Hanukkah. Most families add a new candle to the left side of the Menorah each night.
The Shamash Candle
The ninth candle on the Hanukkah Menorah is the Shamash or “helper” candle. It is often placed in a higher or lower position than the others on the Menorah and its purpose is to light the other Hanukkah candles. According to tradition, no other candles besides the Shamash may be used to light the other Hanukkah candles.
Hanukkah is a joyous celebration where families can come together and remember the miracle that occurred centuries ago. Hanukkah Menorahs have nine candles, with eight of them representing the eight nights of the holiday and the Shamash candle that is used to light the others. Lighting the candles of the Hanukkah Menorah is one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday and a tradition that will continue for generations to come.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.