The holiday of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a beloved tradition celebrated by people of the Jewish faith. One of the major traditions is the lighting of the Hanukkah lights each night. But when do you light the first candle? This article will explain when to light the first Hanukkah candle and the traditions associated with it.
Lighting the First Hanukkah Candle
The first candle of Hanukkah is lit at sunset on the first night of the celebration. It is usually lit outside, on the doorstep of the family’s home or in the window. The first candle is used to “light up the night,” representing the power of the Maccabee’s fight against tyranny. In many communities, the mayor or rabbi will lead a procession of people from the town square, carrying a candle with them. This acts as a reminder to everyone that the miracle of Hanukkah is being celebrated.
The Blessing for the First Candle
Once the first candle has been lit, a special blessing is said in remembrance of the miracle of Hanukkah. The first line of the blessing always begins with Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha olam, which means “Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe.” The rest of the blessing is as follows:
- asher kideshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah
- blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the lights of Hanukkah.
After the blessing has been said, each night another candle is lit until all of the candles are lit on the eighth and final night.
Other First Night Traditions
On the first night of Hanukkah, many families prepare a festive meal and exchange gifts. Common foods often eaten during Hanukkah include Latkes (fried potato pancakes) and Sufganiyot (jelly donuts). A special menorah, known as a hanukiah, is placed on the dining table along with the other Hanukkah items.
In conclusion, the first candle of Hanukkah is lit at sunset on the first night of the celebration. A special blessing is said in remembrance of the miracle of Hanukkah, and other traditions such as festive meals and exchanging gifts are practiced. This is a reminder of the power of the Maccabee’s and their fight against tyranny. Celebrating the first night of Hanukkah is a wonderful way to embrace the holiday of Hanukkah and its many special traditions.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.