“Here comes Hanukkah, so much funukah to celebrate Hanukkah, Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, Instead of one day of presents, we get 8 crazy nights.” Thank you Adam Sandler for creating such a wonderful Hanukkah song for everyone to enjoy.
Hanukkah is the celebration of the rededication of the temple, which illustrates the Jews’ freedom to celebrate without hindrance to their religion.
Most people know of the legend of the oil lighting of the menorah in the temple that was only supposed to last for one day, but ended up burning for eight days. This was seen as the miracle of the oil, and represents the modern-day traditions of lighting the Menorah candle one for each day. Many families now are blended and even celebrate Chrismukkah. They have added Modern day traditions to keep the remembrance of the holiday for future generations. My family personally celebrates both holidays for each parent’s upbringing.
5 ways we celebrate Hanukkah
- Light the Menorah called a Chanukiah. Unlike Christmas or other standard holidays, each year Hanukkah’s start date changes along with the Hebrew Calendar and the New Moon. The first night of Hanukkah starts at sundown and the first candle is lit. First, you light the middle (tallest) candle called the shamesh, which is used to light all the candles. The candles are placed right to left but lit left to right (the current day is lit first going back to the first day) and this continues for the 8 days. Each night the family recites special blessings as the designated person lights the Menorah.
- Play Dreidel Game. A dreidel is famous for playing during Hanukkah. It is a four-sided top and each side contains a Hebrew letter. The gist of the game is based on what letter it lands on, whether you take or give money or candy. The letters spell out “A Great Miracle Happened There.”
- Give Hanukkah Gelt. Gelt is foiled-wrapped chocolate coins that are given to the children. Which could be used in playing Dreidel or to eat.
- Eating Fried Foods. Many foods can be made during Hanukkah, but the most popular is a potato pancake called Latkes that are fried in oil. Another popular dish is jelly donuts fried in oil. These foods remind us of the miracle of the oil.
5. Family Gathering and Gift giving. Hanukkah is a time of celebrations, parties, and family gatherings. Some families exchange gifts and have a festive meal.
Hanukkah, Chanukah, or however you prefer to spell it, is the most well-known holiday of the Jewish people since it usually falls around Christmas and Kwanza. But, Hanukkah stands on its own merits. It is a celebration of the uprising for religious freedom and the rededication of the Holy Temple. Yearly it reminds us to support the cause of religious freedom for all people worldwide. We help bring the Light into the darkness found in this world.
Becka lives in Bondurant, Iowa with her husband Andy, and two sons Talan (8) and Hayes (4). They have one boxer named Grim. Becka works for a Mortgage Lending Company and loves helping people around the country. Outside of being a working mom, Becka loves to go to the library and read lots of books, especially fantasy books. Becka loves to explore fun new coffee shops, thrift at unique stores, and support new restaurants with her friends. Her boys are her world and love to keep her on her toes.