The colors of blue and white are heavily associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. But why do these colors represent the holiday? The answer is steeped in Jewish history and is very symbolic.
History and Symbology
At the center of Hanukkah is the story of the Maccabees, a group of Jewish rebels who reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Syrians. Although outnumbered, the Maccabbes triumphed after an eight-day battle.
For the rededication of the Temple, the Maccabees ordered a flask of oil – enough to burn for only one day. Instead, the oil burned for eight days – a miracle. And so, Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days, during which time they use a special menorah to light a flame in celebration of the miracle.
Prior to the Maccabean Rebellion, Jews had used blue and white in paintings, tapestries and other decorations in the Temple. Most experts believe that the extensive use of blue and white in the Temple is the source of the modern tradition of using blue and white as the official colors of Hanukkah.
The blue and white in decorations used in the Temple itself symbolized a few key things. White represented God and truth, while blue signified the heavens. Together, these colors combined to represent the powerful bond between heaven and God. This connection is even written into Jewish prayer books, known as siddurim, which contain pictures and designs in the hues of blue and white.
In addition, blue and white were the official colors of the Maccabees, a symbol of strength and piety and of the continuation of their Jewish faith. Throughout their rebellion, Jewish fighters placed a blue and white banner inside the Temple as a sign of their fight for freedom.
Today, this bond between the colors and Hanukkah still holds true. Decorations often feature the colors alongside a menorah or a dreidel, elements often associated with the holiday. It is common to see blue and white on decorations, greeting cards and even gifts on Hanukkah. Blue and white are also very common in sweets and treats such as sufganiyot, a traditional Israeli jelly donut.
For this reason, many people believe that blue and white have become synonymous with both Hanukkah and Jewish faith in general. When it comes to celebrating, the traditional blue and white symbols provide a reminder that we should always stand up for what is right and remember the miracles of the past.
In conclusion, the colors of blue and white hold a powerful significance to Hanukkah and its related symbols. Their importance is steeped in Jewish history and stirs up powerful memories of faith, truth, freedom and miracles. While celebrating Hanukkah, any decoration or symbol of the colors blue and white are reminders of these important concepts.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.