Hanukkah is an eight-day festival commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. During this season, Jewish communities around the world light the eight candles of the Hanukkah menorah and recite blessings. But where is this centuries-old holiday most celebrated?
Hanukkah is most joyously celebrated in Israel. As the most deeply religious and historic homeland of the Jewish people, Israel celebrates the miraculously victorious Maccabean Revolt most rousing centuries later. On the first night of Hanukkah in Israel, families gather to light the Hanukkah menorah together. Afterward, everyone joins together to eat fried potato latkes, sufganiyot (jelly donuts), and drink wine. During the eight days of Hanukkah, people also attend public events such as concerts and parades and visit stalls in the street selling Hanukkah items related to the holiday.
In addition, Jewish communities all over the world celebrate Hanukkah. While they may not be as lively as Israel due to the nature of the home country, Jews in the United States, Canada, and other countries who observe the holiday light the Hanukkah menorah and share food and songs to remember the rededication of the Holy Temple.
Table of Contents
Customs and Traditions of Hanukkah
Playing with a dreidel
One of the most well-known Hanukkah traditions is playing with a dreidel. A dreidel is usually a four-sided top that each person spins. The four Hebrew letters on the dreidel stand for a phrase that is translated as “A great miracle happened there.”
Building a sukkah and eating inside it
A sukkah is a temporary hut built for use during the 8 days of Hanukkah. It is decorated with paper chains, menorah pictures, letters, vegetables, and fruits. People often build and eat meals inside the sukkah to honor the Temple in Jerusalem.
Giving and receiving gifts
Unlike some other religious holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah does not require gifting. It was not until the mid-20th century that the custom of giving Hanukkah gifts began to take root. Today, people usually give gifts on each of the eight nights, such as books, money, and toys.
Hanukkah is most heavily celebrated in Israel due to its historic meaning for the Jewish people, although the Jewish communities around the world also embrace the holiday and keep the traditions alive. During the eight days of Hanukkah, families and individuals come together to light the Hanukkah menorah, spin the dreidel, build and eat meals in the sukkah, give and receive gifts, and exchange songs and stories.
No matter what form it takes, the celebration of Hanukkah—a memorable story of light, strength, and justice— lives on.
- Where Is Hanukkah Celebrated The Most?
- Why Is Hanukkah Celebrated For 8 Days?
- What Countries Is Hanukkah Celebrated In?
- What Is Hanukkah And Why Is It Celebrated?
- Where In The World Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- Where Hanukkah Is Celebrated?
- Hanukkah Where Is It Celebrated?
- How Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- How Is Hanukkah Celebrated Around The World?
- Where Is Hanukkah Mostly Celebrated?
- What Is Hanukkah And How Is It Celebrated?
- Where Is Hanukkah Celebrated?
- What Country Is Hanukkah Celebrated In?
- Hanukkah Is Celebrated In What Countries?
- Where Is Hanukkah Celebrated Map?
Last update 2023-11-22. Price and product availability may change.