Today we are going to take a day off from Christmas. Instead I want to wish my Jewish friends a Happy Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, starts on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. This year that is the sunset 16th of December until nightfall 24 of December.
It commemorates the rebellion of the Maccabees against the empire of Antiochus IV. When the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from their oppressors, a miracle occurred. Although the fighters found only enough oil to light the lantern in the temple for one day, the oil lasted for eight days.
There are five traditions on Hanukkah.
There is the lighting of the menorah, a candelabra with nine candles. On the first day one candle is lit, two on the second day and so on. One of the nine candles, the shamash, is set higher or lower than the others and is used to light the other candles.
Hanukkah has its own special songs to be sung with the family.
Traditional food during the festival is oily honoring the miracle in the temple, like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganyot (round jelly doughnuts).
It is customary to play with dreidels or spinning tops. Each side of the dreidel is imprinted with a Hebrew letter.
There is also the custom of giving Hanukkah gelt which is either real or chocolate coins.
I don't want you to get this wrong, I don't know much about Hanukkah and had to do some research, then again I didn't know much about other topics in this advent calendar, either. If I wrote something incorrect, please forgive me and let me know. I am also aware that this post just scratches the surface.