Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday celebrating the re-dedication of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem. The eight-day festival is filled with a variety of traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. From special foods to games and blessings, Hanukkah offers a unique and meaningful opportunity to explore Jewish culture and tradition with friends and family.
Lighting the menorah is the most well-known part of Hanukkah. On each night of the holiday, typically after sundown, an additional candle is lit in a nine-branched menorah until all eight are lit. Traditionally, a ninth candle called the shamash is used to light the rest of the candles. During the candle lighting ceremony, each family will recite special prayers and blessings.
Dreidels are a four-sided spinning top game that is traditionally played during Hanukkah. Each side of the spinning top or dreidel is imprinted with a Hebrew letter that stands for the phrase “a great miracle happened there.” Players can purchase special dreidel sets with their pieces or play with chocolate coins or gelt. Rules will vary depending on the traditional style of dreidel play, but each game will give each player the opportunity to win something.
Special foods are prepared during the holiday of Hanukkah. Latkes or potato pancakes are a traditional favorite. Deep-fried in oil, latkes commemorate the ancient Temple of Jerusalem. Other traditional treats are sufganiyot or jelly-filled doughnuts and cheese-filled blintzes.
It is a tradition for many Jews to give children gifts of Hanukkah gelt (also known as Hanukkah money). The gelt is often given in the form of coins or chocolate coins wrapped in shiny gold and silver. As kids have grown up in the modern age, some parents also offer their children small gifts or cash for Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday and offers plenty of traditions for families to explore and enjoy. From candle lighting to dreidel games, Hanukkah brings friends and families together to celebrate the miracle of the holiday.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.