Hanukkah is a time for family, friends, celebration, and fun. This eight-day Jewish holiday is celebrated by lighting a menorah, spinning the dreidel, exchanging gifts and treats, and many other activities. Whether families have decided to come together for the occasion or are celebrating remotely, Hanukkah can be a special time to bond and create fun memories. Here are some ideas on what to do on Hanukkah.
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Light the Menorah
Lighting the special menorah, or Hanukkiyah, is an integral part of Hanukkah. Each night, one additional candle is lit on the menorah using a different, unprocessed candle or a special candle called a Shamash. After the menorah is lit, families usually sing songs and recite blessings. This ceremony often brings forth plenty of memories and conversations.
Spin the Dreidel
Spinning a four-sided top called a dreidel is a fun game that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Traditionally, the dreidel letters Nun, Gimmel, Hey, and Shin represent the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,” meaning “A great miracle happened there.” A special treat associated with this game is gelt, a sweet coin-shaped candy. You can buy a chocolate dreidel and use it as a special treat.
Hanukkah is all about treats! Start by making latkes, potato pancakes made from grated potatoes and onions, then pan fried in oil. This crispy and savory dish is a beloved Hanukkah tradition. Sufganiyot, round pieces of jelly doughnuts, are also a favorite. Family members can come together to make both treats to be enjoyed later.
Another way to celebrate Hanukkah is to exchange presents. Make it special by wrapping the gifts in a festive box or bag with patterned or themed wrapping paper. Be sure to label the presents with who they are for, making sure everyone knows which present belongs to them.
Enjoy Movies and Music
For movie night, you can choose films that celebrate Jewish culture and values. Listen to Hanukkah music and songs such as the classic Maoz Tzur or “Rock of Ages”, a traditional folk song about Hanukkah that mentions the different blessings said each night.
From lighting special candles to enjoying festive songs and treats, there are many ways to connect with family and celebrate Hanukkah. These traditions help pass on the story from generation to generation and keep the spirit alive. There are endless possibilities when it comes to celebrating this special holiday, from small romantic moments to large gatherings. An important takeaway from Hanukkah is that small, but powerful, miracles can happen when we come together.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.