Hanukkah is one of the most popular holidays celebrated by Jews around the world. It is known as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated from late November to late December, depending on the Jewish calendar. During this time, families gather to light the menorah, sing songs, and enjoy delicious traditional foods. While these rituals are the best known, there are many other traditions associated with Hanukkah that make it an even more meaningful and special holiday.
The tradition of giving money to children on Hanukkah, called “Hanukkah gelt”, is believed to date back centuries. While these days Hanukkah gelt often refers to foil-wrapped chocolate coins, it is believed that before the advent of chocolate coins, actual coins were given to kids as gifts. Today, some families continue this tradition in addition to giving their children chocolate coins.
Game of Dreidel
One of the most iconic Hanukkah activities is the game of dreidel. The game is played with a four-sided top, or dreidel, which usually has the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hey, and shin written on it. Players spin the dreidel and whichever letter it lands on dictates what each player wins or loses.
Foods of Hanukkah
Food also plays an important role in the Hanukkah celebration. Traditional Hanukkah foods, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), are eaten to remind us of the miracle of oil that lasted for 8 nights. Additionally, some Ashkenazi families also enjoy brisket and knishes for dinner.
Hanukkah is a joyous and meaningful holiday that is celebrated by Jews around the world. The traditions associated with this holiday are a great way to commemorate and honor this important moment in Jewish history. From the lighting of the menorah to playing dreidel and eating traditional Hanukkah foods, this holiday can be a wonderful way for families to come together and to teach kids about Jewish heritage and values.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.