Happy Chanukah! As the festivities begin this year, I’d love to share some easy ways to celebrate. I stopped in my favorite place when planning a celebration, Swoozies, and was immediately in love with all the festive colors for this Chanukah celebration. Traditionally using blue and white and silver is what is expected, but adding pops of color, really brighten up our table.
We recently attended our town’s tree lighting and menorah lighting ceremony and the president of the student Jewish club was there to share a little about the traditions of Chanukah.
Chanukah is the festival of lights and has a number of traditions and customs associated with it. As the name suggests, the entire festival is a celebration of the miraculous event that occurred years ago at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The wicks of the Menorah lit for an amazing eight days at a stretch, although the sacred oil in the temple was enough to light the wicks for only one day. This is the reason why lights and lighted decors play such an important part in the observation of the celebration.
She also shared about the dreidel playing tradition. Dreidel is a 4-sided spinning top, consisting of a distinctive Hebrew letter on each side. In America, the letters stand for “A Great Miracle Happened There”. But in Israel, the last letter is different on the dreidel there to stand for “A Great Miracle Happened Here”. I found that to be so fascinating!
Chanukah, like any other festival, has some typical food traditions associated with it. It is customary to serve foods baked or fried in oil, preferably olive oil, during the festival. The special foods for the days include latkes, sufganiyots, loukomades and pretzels. I found a great receipe for latkes here. They are truly delicious!
However you celebrate this season, I hope you have a blessed holiday filled with warmth, light, and lots of love!