Chanukah – Festival of Lights
December 04, 2007* - December 12, 2007
25 Kislev - 2 Tevet
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. Many Celebration families are celebrating Chanukah this week. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days. Because it usually falls in December, Chanukah has been compared to Christmas, even though the two holy days are vastly different within their religions. Yes there is much focus on Christmas in Celebration, but don't forget this important Family Tradition.
Not familiar with this Jewish Holiday? Here are some basics of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah.
This is an 8-day holiday and is celebrated with a series of rituals, some are family based and others are community related.
First things First – Spelling of the Holiday
There are a number of spellings of this holiday:
- Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanukkah, Channukah
- Hanukah, Hannukah, Hanukkah, Hanuka, Hanukka, Hanaka, Haneka, Hanika
The Chanukah Menorah – Hanukiyah
The Hanukiyah has nine candle holders. There are eight candles to symbolize the 8 days and the 9th candle called The Shamash is lit first and then used to light the other candles. Tradition states that the candles are added to the menorah right to left, but lit left to right. There is a blessing said over the candles.
The dreidel is one of the best known symbols of Chanukah. The dreidel is a four sided top with Hebrew letters on each side. The four letters are:
SHIN, HEY, GIMEL, NUN
These letters mean “A Great Miracle Happened There” In Israel the letters mean “A Miracle Happened HERE!” Children play a popular game with the dreidel, players use chocolate coins (Gelt) as tokens or chips.
Traditional Chanukah Foods
There are many traditional foods served during Chanukah. Many of the foods that served are foods fried or baked in oil including:
· Potato pancakes or latkes
· Cheese Blintzes with Broiled Pineapple
· Fruit Filled Donuts - Hanukkah Sufganiyot (Jelly Doughnuts)
· Carmel Applesauce
· Brisket or Roast Lamb With Lamb Sausage Crust And Fresh Grape Pan Sauce
· Fried Zucchini
Happy Chanukah Celebration Florida!
What are Your Chanukah Family Traditions?
Crafts for kids this Chanukah
Chanukah Website for Kids
Book Suggestions regarding Chanukah
Chanukah Basic Concepts