Hanukkah is a special holiday celebrated by Jews around the world, also known as the Festival of Lights. A symbol of the festival is exchanging gifts, which is an important part of the traditions and customs associated with Hanukkah. However, many people are not sure when to give gifts for Hanukkah. Here is some helpful information about how to choose when to give and receive gifts during this holiday.
When to Give Gifts for Hanukkah?
The answer to when to give gifts for Hanukkah is simple: begin on the eve of the first day of the festival. This is the night of the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which corresponds roughly to December on the Gregorian calendar. This is the starting point for exchanging gifts.
While it is common to give and receive gifts on the first night of Hanukkah, some people also choose to spread out the exchanging of gifts throughout the eight-day period. This can be accomplished by creating a list of the people in a family or a group that will be exchanging gifts so that everyone gets a turn more quickly.
The larger the group, the better it is to spread out the exchanging of gifts. This will ensure that each person receives a gift or gifts on each of the eight days. Gifts may include decorative items for the home, jewelry, clothing, art, books, toys, and games, or any other meaningful item, depending on individual preferences.
Delaying Gift Exchange
In the interest of saving money, it has become popular in some circles to delay giving physical gifts until the seventh night of Hanukkah. This is the last night of the holiday period and is considered one of the most important in traditional customs.
On this night, special foods like sufganiyot (doughnuts filled with jelly) and latkes (potato pancakes) are eaten, and a practice of marathon gift-giving follows. On this night, people may bring wrapped gifts as a surprise, or have everyone gather together to exchange gifts.
Gifts given or received during Hanukkah are symbolic of the story of the oil burning in the Temple. Just as the oil only lasted for eight days, gifts are given during this same period of time. This custom serves as a reminder of the victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenization of Judea.
The Maccabees were fighting for religious freedom of all Jews, and these traditions remind us that this fight for freedom still carries on today. It is for this reason that gifts are exchanged during this festive holiday- to remind us always of why we celebrate.
In conclusion, the best time to give and receive gifts during Hanukkah is on the first night of the festival (the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar). It is popular in some circles to delay giving physical gifts until the seventh night of Hanukkah, the last night of the holiday period. The practice of exchanging gifts is symbolic of the victory of the Maccabees over the Hellenization of Judea. It is a beautiful tradition that brings families and friends together, and is a reminder of the religious freedom we have today.
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Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.