Hanukkah (Hebrew for dedication) – also spelled “Chanukah” – is the Jewish festival of lights. Hanukkah is an eight-day observance that remembers the Jewish people’s struggle for religious freedom.
This year the celebrations begin the evening of Sunday, December 22, 2019 and conclude Monday, December 30, 2019.
Hanukkah commemorates events that took place more than 2,000 years ago when the Jewish people were told to abandon their religion and Temple. It is believed that when the Jews reclaimed the Temple, there was only enough consecrated oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for one day, but it miraculously lasted for eight. Hanukkah is referred to as the “festival of lights” for this reason.
For eight nights, Hanukkah is celebrated with prayers, games, food, songs, gifts, and the lighting of the menorah. The menorah has nine candles: one candle for each of the eight nights, plus an additional candle to help light the others.
Traditions include playing dreidel (a four-sided spinning top), and eating traditional food such as brisket and latkes (potato pancakes served with applesauce and/or sour cream).
You may wish those who celebrate a “Happy Hanukkah!”