Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday, spilling over from the beginning of Kislev—the 25th day of the Jewish calendar—to the second day of Tevet. It is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, prayers, and by eating traditional foods such as latkes and jelly donuts. Gifting presents to children and other family members is a common tradition in Hanukkah, and each day of the holiday brings a certain number of gifts. So how many days of gifts are there in Hanukkah?
The number of days of gift giving in Hanukkah traditionally corresponds to the number of days and nights in the holiday celebration. That means that for most years, there will be eight days of gift-giving or receiving. On each day of the holiday, one gift is exchanged.
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The Eight Days Of Hanukkah
The first day of Hanukkah is called “Kissuy,” which is also known as Rohathel—or Candle Lights. On this day, the shammash—or the center candle of the nine-branched Menorah—is lit to symbolize the minor and major holidays of the year.
Day two is known as “Shwiy,” which is also called as Yud-Tet Kislev—meaning the tenth day of Kislev. The successful Maccabean revolt against the occupying Romans is celebrated on this day with lighting of the Menorah.
Day three is known as “Tshriy,” which is also called as Meshech Chochmah—or Wisdom of Moses. On this day, portions of the Book of Judges are read to the assembly. The custom is to enjoy a festive meal and give thanks for peace and a good living.
Day four is known as “Dyebiy,” which is also called as Chomah—or Wisdom. The custom is to exchange lighthearted gifts that bring fun and pleasure.
Day five is known as “Dutchy,” which is also called as Zohar Chodosh—or New Light. On this day, the custom is to exchange presents among the family and amongst the community.
Day six is known as “Dabiy,” which is also called as Menachem Av—or Comfort the Father. On this day of the festival, the custom is to exchange presents of food, scholars discuss religious topics, and the poor are given alms and special food.
Day seven is known as “Zachiy,” which is also called as Noah Kellal—or Miracle of Exceeding. On this day, the custom is to exchange presents of coins as a reminder that life isn’t always about material possessions.
Day eight is known as “Meschey,” which is also called as Goshen—or At The Foundation. On this day, the custom is to have a festive meal, exchange presents, and then light the eight branches of the Menorah.
It is tradition to exchange gifts on each day of Hanukkah, usually following a ritual that centers around a celebratory meal and the lighting of the Menorah. Hanukkah is a time to reflect on family and community, as well as the miracle of freedom from oppression. Sharing gifts and stories is a way to celebrate the holiday and bring joy to the festival. By exchange gifts on each day of Hanukkah, families can strengthen the traditions and memories of the holiday and enjoy the celebration of Hanukkah.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.