Hanukkah is a Jewish festival celebrating the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. It’s also known as the Festival of Lights and is associated with the miracle of the Maccabees winning the fight against the Syrian-Greeks. It’s celebrated for eight days and is a time of joy and celebration for many Jewish people all over the world. Explaining Hanukkah to children can be a complex task as it’s difficult to explain the Jewish history and faith involved in the festival. However, there are a few ways to help children understand the importance of Hanukkah and the festival traditions.
Explaining the Meaning of Hanukkah
The most important concept to explain when it comes to the celebration of Hanukkah is the meaning behind it. Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek-Syrians. After their victory, they were able to rededicate the Second Temple in Jerusalem. To celebrate this, a single-day supply of oil that was needed to light the menorah in the temple miraculously lasted 8 days—the time it took to get more oil. To commemorate this miracle, a menorah is traditionally lit every night of Hanukkah. Additionally, most families exchange gifts to celebrate the freedom and miracles of Hanukkah.
Explaining the Traditions of Hanukkah
Once the meaning behind the festival is understood, it’s time to explain the traditions of Hanukkah. Traditionally, each night during Hanukkah, a special menorah known as a hanukiah is lit. This is done by saying special prayers and lighting candles, one per night. Additionally, a special game is usually played on Hanukkah. Dreidel is a spinning top-like game usually played with plastic or clay tops. Children take turns spinning a dreidel and depending on which side it lands, take or put coins or chocolate coins.
Explaining Hanukkah As a Jewish Celebration
For many Jewish families, Hanukkah is an important time to celebrate their faith. Helping children understand the religious aspects of the holiday is necessary to appreciate its significance. Explain the importance of respecting others beliefs and little details such as the eight candles representing the days the oil supply lasted and the one night when an additional candle is lit which symbolizes the joy of the religious history and feats.
Explaining Hanukkah to children can be a difficult task but it is also an important festival to understand and appreciate. By teaching the meaning behind the celebration and the traditional customs involved, children will be able to learn and appreciate the event’s history and customs. Additionally, by explaining Hanukkah as the celebration of Jewish faith, children will understand the importance of respecting beliefs of different religions and cultures.
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Last update 2023-11-26. Price and product availability may change.