For many people, the edible scents of Hanukkah are a fundamental part of the holiday experience. From fragrant latkes cooked in oil to tender sufganiyot doughnuts, the smells wafting from the kitchen during the eight days of Hanukkah can transport us back to our childhoods and create a powerful nostalgia for the holiday season. But what does Hanukkah smell like to those of us who are not Jewish? Outside of the kitchen, what unique aromas are associated with Hanukkah?
The aroma of Hanukkah may not be as well-defined and recognizable to non-Jews as the smell of delicately roasting turkey or pine needles for Christmas, but there are certain scents associated with the holiday.
The scent of a burning menorah often evokes strong and nostalgic emotions for anyone of Jewish heritage. This is the smell that many of us grew up with in our own homes, and the scent of burning oil used for the menorah has historically been a symbol of the Maccabbees’ victory over the oppressive Greeks centuries ago. The smell of burning candles also has a certain richness and comforting familiarity associated with it for Jewish people.
Additionally, for those who celebrate Hanukkah, there is a certain sweet smell that often comes along with exchanging gifts. Whether it be packages of treats or colorful toys, the sight and smell of something shiny and new can fill us all with joy. The smell of traditional treats such as Chanukah gelt (chocolate coins) can also add a unique flavor to the holiday.
The distinct smell of Hanukkah can also be found in the atmosphere of the shared holiday experience. Whether it be a family celebration, a synagogue service, or a festive party – the smell of coming together is deeply rooted in the joy of the season.
Overall, the smell of Hanukkah is the smell of prosperity, joy, and family. The scent can be comforting, energizing, and bring us right back some of our fondest holiday memories. So the next time you are lucky enough to be around a Hanukkah celebration, take a deep breath and savour the festive spirit of the holiday.
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Last update 2023-11-21. Price and product availability may change.