Lighting the Hanukkah candles is a beloved and important part of the celebration of Hanukkah. The nine-day holiday is celebrated by Jews around the world to commemorate the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight nights in the Temple of Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt in the 2nd century BC. The lighting of the Hanukkah candles is a reminder of the miracle of that oil and how the light burned for eight nights. There is a decorative Hanukkah menorah that contains nine branches, which is used to light the individual Hanukkah candles. Knowing the correct order in which to light the Hanukkah candles is essential to the holiday celebration.
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Step One – Prepare To Light Candles
Before beginning to light the Hanukkah candles it is important to prepare. The menorah is set up at a place in the home that is visible to all members of the household and to those passing by outside. The menorah is ready and waiting prior to lighting the candles. The candles are also arranged in the menorah before the lights are lit. The shamash (a helper candle) is the candle used to light all of the other candles. The candles are lit from left to right and the shamash is lit last, but all the other candles are lit in the reverse order: from right to left.
Step Two – Light The Candles
The first night a single candle is lit on the far right side of the menorah. That candle is the shamash, which is then used to light the remaining eight candles. On the second night, two candles are lit; one for the first night and an additional candle placed one space to the left. This additional candle is the first of seven candles that make up the main body of the menorah. When lighting the menorah, the candle to the left is lit first, followed by the candle to the right. This is repeated for the entire eight days and nights of Hanukkah.
Step Three – Blessing
After the candles are lit a blessing is said. This is followed by a special song that is chanted at the conclusion of the blessing. The special song is “Maoz Tzur” and it is declared as a victory song for the Maccabean Revolt.
The order of lighting the Hanukkah candles is an important part of the traditional celebration of the holiday. Lighting the Hanukkah candles is a joyful experience that brings family and friends together for the holidays. Each year, the order of the candles is the same and is experienced the same each time. It is a reminder that no matter how much time has passed, there are still connections to the story passed down from generation to generation.
Lighting the Hanukkah candles is a special part of the holy days of Hanukkah. Knowing the correct order in which to light the Hanukkah candles allows families to celebrate and remember the miracle of the Temple oil. From lighting the shamash, to the blessing and song at the end, the light of the candles is a reminder that a miracle can indeed happen.
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Last update 2023-11-21. Price and product availability may change.