Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Hebrew holiday celebrated by Jews all over the world in honor of a miracle that occurred during the rededication of the second temple around 165 B.C.E. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating special foods, and exchanging gifts. It is a festive and joyous time, especially for the younger set. In this article, we will explore what exactly Hanukkah means and how it is celebrated.
What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival that marks the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It occurs around the same time as Christmas, though there is no correlation between the two events. The word Hanukkah derives from the Hebrew verb for “dedication” and is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights.
How is Hanukkah Celebrated?
Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting the traditional nine-branched menorah, praying for the miracle of oil that lasted for eight days, exchanging gifts, eating special foods, and playing the dreidel game.
- Lighting the Menorah: The Menorah is lit during the nights of the festival to remember the miracle of oil which kept the holy lamp lit for eight days. One candle is added on each night of Hanukkah.
- Praying for a Miracle: Jews also pray for a miracle during the Hanukkah time, as it is said that a supernatural occurrence happened when the Jews re-dedicated the second temple.
- Exchanging Gifts: Hanukkah gifts are exchanged between family and friends, often in the form of gift cards, money, or small items such as chocolate coins or small toys.
- Special Foods: Latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) are traditional Hanukkah foods that are fried in oil to remember the oil miracle.
- Playing the Dreidel Game: This is a fun game that is usually played along with snacks and is a huge hit among the children, especially those who like to gamble!
Hanukkah is a time to celebrate a miracle and the growth of the Jewish nation. It is a festive time for giving gratitude, gift-giving, feasting, and fun-filled activities. The festival of Hanukkah is a reminder of how faith and courage can overcome incredible odds.
Whether celebrating with your own family or with a larger community, the joy of Hanukkah is an opportunity to express light and goodness during the darkest time of the year.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.