The Most Popular Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah

Hanukkah is an eight day long Jewish celebration of the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over Syria and Greece in the second century BCE. Hanukkah commemorates a small jug of oil, with only enough to burn for a day, that burned for a miraculous eight days. During Hanukkah, there are many customs and traditions that Jewish people partake in. From eating latkes to spinning dreidels, the holiday is full of excitement and happiness.

The most important part of Hanukkah is the lighting of the menorah. This is a candelabra with nine branches, eight of which represent the eight days that the jug of oil burned, while the last is called the shamash and is used to light the others. The menorah is typically lit around the time of sunset.

Aside from lighting the menorah, there are many other fun traditions and customs that are a part of the celebration of Hanukkah. Eating foods fried in oil is a Hanukkah tradition for many Jewish families, as it is a nod to the jug of oil that burned for eight days. Typically latkes (fried potato pancakes traditionally served with applesauce or sour cream) and jelly-filled donuts called sufganiyot are eaten during Hanukkah.

Children and adults alike partake in games during Hanukkah, such as spinning the dreidel. This is a lively game, in which players will take turns spinning the dreidel for a chance to earn the winnings from the pot. Traditionally, the pot would be filled with gelt, or coins. In modern times, many people use chocolates covered in gold or silver foil that looks like coins during the dreidel game. Each side of the dreidel has a different Hebrew letter, and together they spell out “a great miracle happened there”.

Singing is an important part of Hanukkah for many Jewish people. From traditional prayer songs to modern children’s tunes like “I Have a Little Dreidel”, many Jewish families enjoy singing together during the cheerful holiday.

Many Jewish-American families give gifts as a part of their Hanukkah celebrations, despite the fact that it is not a part of traditional festivities of the holiday. This tradition has grown from the popularity of Christmas gift-giving, as Christmas and Hanukkah are celebrated in the same time of year.

Hanukkah is a time of celebration and joy for Jewish people. From singing cheery songs to playing dreidel, there are many customs and traditions that make Hanukkah such an enjoyable holiday. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah gives Jewish people the opportunity to commemorate the miracle of the small bit of oil burning for eight days.