Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a traditional eight-day Jewish celebration with various customs and traditions. One of the main elements of the Hanukkah celebration is the lighting of an eight-branched candelabrum, or menorah, with one candle lit for each night of the holiday. But how many candles do we need for Hanukkah today?
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Before We Begin Lighting: Preparations
Before starting to light the candles, a few steps should be taken to ensure a meaningful and safe celebration.
Decide On a Place
The main rituals of Hanukkah take place around the menorah, so finding a safe spot for it is essential. A table situated close to a wall and in a suitable distance from any possible sources of fire should do the trick.
Gather the Things You’ll Need
The main items you’ll need for the Hanukkah lighting ceremony are:
- The Menorah: The traditional Hanukkah menorah has eight branches for the candles plus the ninth, called the shamash (‘helper’) and used to light the other candles. If you don’t have a menorah, you can use a candlestick with separate holders for all nine candles.
- The Candles: The traditional and most common way to light the Hanukkah candles are round, rolled beeswax candles, usually colored blue and white. Paraffin candles and olive oil lamps can also be used.
- A Dedicated Candle-Lighter: Using a dedicated lighter for the Hanukkah candles is preferred over a regular matchbox.
- Blessings: Usually, the blessings are read aloud from a printed text. Alternatively, they can be spoken from memory.
How Many Candles are Needed?
The number of candles used for each day of Hanukkah depends on the night of the holiday. On the first night of Hanukkah, one candle is lit; on the second night, two candles are lit and so on until all eight candles are filled during the last night of the holiday.
This means that, on the first night, one candle will be needed; on the second night, two candles will be needed; and on the last night of Hanukkah, eight candles will be used.
Lighting the menorah with the appropriate number of candles is an important part of the Hanukkah celebrations. Whether you prefer to use beeswax candles, paraffin candles or olive oil lamps, the number of candles you need for each night is determined by the night itself, with the first night requiring just one candle and eight candles needed for the last night.
By taking the proper precautions and using the right blessings, the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony can be a meaningful and enjoyable part of your holiday celebrations.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.