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All About Hanukkah

Dec 01, 2015

This year, the Jewish holiday Hanukkah begins on Sunday December 6th and goes until sunset on Monday December 14th, 2015. Since Hanukkah is based on the Jewish lunar calendar, it always starts on the 25th day of Kislev. This holiday is also known as the Festival of Lights. It continues for eight days with a candle being lit each night.

The Story

Hanukkah, which is Hebrew for dedication, honors the victory of the Jews over the Greek Syrians in 165 BC. After their victory, the Maccabees, sons of the family that led the revolt, entered the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it to the service of God. After the Temple was re-dedicated, the time came to light the N'er Tamid, the Eternal Light of the temple. The Jews could find only one jar of oil, marked with the seal of the High Priest, which was only enough to last one evening. Miraculously, the oil kept the lights burning for the entire eight nights it took to get new oil.

Potato Latkes are a traditional celebration foodPotato Latkes are a traditional celebration foodCourtesy of The Seasonal Gourmet

Light the Menorah

The menorah, or Hanukiyah, holds nine candles. Eight candles represent the eight days of Hanukkah, and the ninth, the Shamash, is used to light the other candles. The candles are lit from left to right, with one candle for each day of the festival, so that as every day passes, the menorah becomes brighter and brighter.

Lighting the MenorahLighting the Menorah

How to Celebrate

  • After lighting the menorah, families gather for dinner. They eat traditional Hanukkah foods, like latkes and applesauce.
  • Children receive a gift for each night of Hanukkah.
  • It's a tradition for children to play the dreidel game during Hanukkah.

DreidelsDreidels
Have Your Say

How do you celebrate? let us know!

 

48 Comments

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What's Your Fave Hanukkah Song?

  • I Have a Little Dreidel.
  • The Hanukkah Song by Adam Sandler.
  • Come Light the Menorah.

Random In The Forums

SecretBlogger
SecretBlogger posted in General:
 Right now? An anime girl who I think I kindof look like, except for the fact she looks like she can kick serious butt, where i would just hurt myself trying. (I would definetly try tho....)
reply 21 minutes
PrincessRhiannon
Just little ol me  :wave [s:sm3/1jw1] [s:sm3/1jw2] I'm new here, so hello everyone!  :thumbsup :party ;)
reply 43 minutes
ThePaleWalker636
((Author's note: Inspired by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Edits and suggestions are accepted in the comments. If you would like to add on to this and continue writing it yourself, I will create a master post of the finished product and may include suggestions and other people's work, whom I will credit. Thank you.)) After the battle to banish the Empire succeeded, The pony of shadows now for a thousand years gone, The feasts of celebration were well underway, And the Princesses rejoiced that the battle was won.   Star Swirl the Bearded, great wizard of old, Had remained there as long as he may, But as soon as he rose, the hall to leave There came an event that forced him to stay.   A figure stepped in from the midst of a storm: The doors were flung open with tremendous might By a stallion of stature like never before seen His presence alone dimmed the room’s light.   His hooves pounded the floor and forced it to crack Legs like tree-trunks, and a voice like thunder His eyes flashed like stars underneath his hood All present had their composures thrown asunder.   “Greetings!” The unicorn cried to the thrones. “I have traveled from the Northland’s wastes To meet the Sisters of much I have heard And so I have arrived, coming with haste.”   Celestia bowed with grace to this stranger “We accept you in our halls, you are to be certain You will be welcome as long as you stay. But I request you tell of your journey and all it may pertain.   Begin with your name, if you please,” she concluded. And the unicorn nodded in acceptance. “Of course. You behold Polaris, a messenger For my people, and have come to pay penance   To the rulers of our far away neighbors. I am the chieftain of my tribe in the North, Masters of snow and flame in our magic. But now we are in need, and I have come forth   To beg of you your assistance.” He bowed in his head, in pleading he waited While averting his eyes to the ground. Not wanting the Princess to know what was unstated.   Star Swirl arose, proudly he stood, His horn lit aflame to point to the sky. “Of course we will help! I’ll accompany you myself!” He did not pause to ask Polaris why.  
reply about 1 hour
Pink_Cool_Girl
Fact:Out of the 7 hours, schools only teach you something 1 hour and 45 minutes of the whole day. 
reply about 3 hours
AnnaOfExquizurd
Yeah, I really think schools should change their teaching methods. Every year, when I take the standardized tests, I see again and again at least 40% of the test something the teachers never taught. It also doesn't really give you much stuff you actually will need beyond high school, unless you plan on being an ultimate master-of-all-subjects in college and want to try every single job out there at least once. Maybe then.
reply about 3 hours