What is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah, which is Hebrew for “dedication,” is the Festival of Lights.
The miracle of Hanukkah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil to illuminate the Temple lamp for one day, and yet it lasted for eight full days.
How Do You Celebrate Hanukkah?
We celebrate Hanukkah at home by lighting the menorah (each night we light one additional candle to the number from the previous night), playing dreidel, and eating special foods unique to Hanukkah. Some people also sing Hanukkah songs or exchange gifts after lighting the menorah, which is also called a hanukkiah. Many people host and attend Hanukkah parties.
What Are Hanukkah Foods?
Many Hanukkah foods are deep-fried in oil, symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Temple. These include latkes, or potato pancakes, and jelly doughnuts. Other favorites include the Sephardic delicacy bimuelos and use, of course, applesauce as a latke topping. Chocolate gelt, a candy that gets its name from the Yiddish word for money, is another popular Hanukkah treat. To buy Fair Trade chocolate gelt, click here.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.
Pronounced: muh-NOHR-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a lamp or candelabra, often used to refer to the Hanukkah menorah, or Hanukkiah.
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.