Hanukkah is a festive eight day Jewish holiday that is a commemoration of a miracle that happened thousands of years ago. Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated with a variety of activities such as lighting the menorah, eating special Hanukkah foods, playing dreidel, and exchanging presents.
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Lighting the Menorah
The menorah is the nine-branched candelabrum used to commemorate the miracle that’s at the center of the Hanukkah story – the lamp in the Temple that stayed lit for eight miraculous days despite only having enough oil for one. According to tradition, the menorah should be lit each night of Hanukkah in different ways and with blessings.
Eating Special Hanukkah Foods
The tradition of eating special Hanukkah foods made with oil such as latkes (fried potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts) is possibly in recognition of the miracle of the oil. Eating special Hanukkah foods is a great way to bring the family together around the table.
Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hei, and shin inscribed on each side. During Hanukkah, the children play with a dreidel and add to their pot or “take away” depending on the letter that faces up when it stops spinning.
Part of the Hanukkah tradition is giving each other presents. There is no fixed amount when it comes to gift giving, but rather Hanukkah gifts are an expression of thoughtfulness, with emphasis placed on the presentation of the gift.
These are some of the activities and traditions that people usually do during Hanukkah. It is important to remember that while these activities add color to the holiday, the most important element to Hanukkah is to commemorate the miracle of the 8 burning lights and to gather around people we love to celebrate it.
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- What Do You Do On The Last Day Of Hanukkah?
Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.