Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday that takes place each year on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Also known as the “Festival of Lights”, this eight-day celebration remembers the victory of the ancient Maccabees and their rededication and cleansing of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. During Hanukkah, families gather together to honor their shared traditions which involve exchanging gifts and dedicating time and energy to the observance of the holiday’s symbolism. On each day of Hanukkah, certain activities may take place, like playing dreidel, lighting the menorah and eating special foods.
The first night of Hanukkah is set to begin on the evening of December 10th in 2021. On the first night of Hanukkah, participants in the holiday will light the candles on the menorah, meaning the nine-branched candelabra which has become the symbol of the holiday. The menorah is lit with increasing light each night of the holiday, and during this time special prayers are said.
On the second night of Hanukkah, two candles are lit; one for the night and the first from the prior night. This pattern continues every night until the eighth and final night when all eight candles and the shamash, or central candle, are lit. In addition to the lighting of the menorah, each night of Hanukkah is adorned with special activities, representing the joy of the festival.
On each night of Hanukkah, one of the most popular activities is the game of dreidel. The spinning top, otherwise known as a dreidel, is played by spinning it on a flat surface and guessing top or bottom when it falls. Throughout the game, players may win or lose different amounts according to local traditions.
Traditional Hanukkah food is eaten at special meals throughout the holiday. Usually, fried foods such as latkes or sufganiyot, otherwise known as jelly doughnuts, are enjoyed as they signify the miracle of the oil which was said to last for eight days.
Hanukkah is a time for joy and celebration. On each night of the holiday, families come together to celebrate the tradition of their ancestors. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, various activities illuminate the darkness of the winter season, symbolizing the freedom and light that triumphs over persecution.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.