Hanukkah is a religious holiday celebrated by Jews all around the world. One of the most popular symbols of Hanukkah is the collection of lit menorah candles. But many people may be asking, “How many Hanukkah candles tonight?” Determining the right number of candles on Hanukkah is a simple and important part of the celebration.
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What Is the Customary Number of Hanukkah Candles?
The custom is to kindle eight candles, one for each night of Hanukkah, plus an additional one called the shamash, which is used to light the other candles.
Candles for Every Night of Hanukkah
The basic idea is that each night a new candle is lit. This custom is actually based on two separate customs:
- To increase the amount of light, the custom is to light an additional candle each night until all eight nights have been celebrated.
- To show the element of time, the custom is to count down from eight to one, indicating that with each night that passes Hanukkah is one night closer to being over.
On the first night, the shamash is lit first, and it is used to light the others. On the last day it is lit last.
Number of Candles for Shabbat
It is customary to light two additional candles, specifically for Shabbat, in addition to the eight candles. Since Shabbat usually occurs during one of the nights of Hanukkah, this custom commemorates the importance of the Shabbat during Hanukkah.
Candles for Different Locations
Since different religious practices vary from place to place, there is no one set rule for how many Hanukkah candles should be lit. Some traditionalists may add additional candles, while other traditionalists may stick to nine (including the shamash). No matter the tradition, the main idea remains the same: to add more light during the celebration of Hanukkah.
In conclusion, the customary number of Hanukkah candles is nine (including the shamash). However, there is no exact “right” answer for how many candles to kindle each night, as religious practice varies from place to place. The main idea behind the tradition is to add more light and symbolically mark the passage of time during the Hanukkah celebration.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.