Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

The celebration of Hanukkah began on December 11, 2020 and will last until December 18, 2020. Hanukkah is celebrated by people of Jewish faith every year. Hanukkah is celebrated during the month of Kieslev, according to the Jewish calendar, and typically falls in late November or at some time during December. Because of this, many who are not familiar with the holiday may associate it is as the Jewish equivalent of Christmas, but the tradition of Hanukkah has very little similarity to Christmas other than the time of year at which it is celebrated and the tradition of giving gifts.

Hanukkah commemorates the eight day re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, following a revolt by the Jewish people after Judaism had been outlawed and the temple had been converted to an altar to worship the Greek God, Zeus. Led by Jewish priests and their followers, the Jewish people reclaimed the temple and rededicated it to the Jewish faith. Hanukkah remembers and celebrates this victory and re-dedication.

Many have heard the story of the menorah associated with Hanukkah, and the menorah remains a primary symbol and ritual of Hanukkah celebrations. Following their reclamation of the temple, the Jews wanted to light the menorah, but only had enough olive oil to light it for one day. Despite the limited supply of oil, the oil burned for eight days and nights, giving rise to the eight day and night celebration that is now Hanukkah.  One candle of the menorah is lit after sundown on each night of Hanukkah, with the total number of candles increasing each night until all of the candles are light. The menorah is often placed in a window as a symbol of the holiday. Traditional blessings are said while lighting the candles.

Other Hanukkah traditions include meals with special foods, including latkes or other foods that are fried in olive oil, as further commemoration of the origin of the holiday. The dreidel, a four-sided top with Hebrew letters printed on each side, is a toy and game that is traditional to Hanukkah as well. Though it was traditional for children to receive coins as gifts during Hanukkah, and many still do receive either real or chocolate coins, exchanging other gifts during Hanukkah has become a common part of the tradition as well.

If you are celebrating Hanukkah this year, we wish you health, happiness, peace, and enjoyment of this holiday!


If you are celebrating Hanukkah this year, we wish you health, happiness, peace, and enjoyment of this holiday!