Is it Traditional to Put Up Hanukkah Decorations?

Hanukkah decorations are a new phenomenon — and there are no rules!

Decorating your home is an exciting way to garner excitement for an upcoming holiday. Compared to Christmas, Hanukkah decorations are usually more subtle. One reason for this is because the focus of Hanukkah is first and foremost on the menorah shining through the window of the house, for everyone to see and admire. It is the symbol of Jewish pride and identity that is quintessential to the holiday of Hanukkah. 

Historically, Jews did not put up Hanukkah decorations but over the past few decades many have begun to decorate the interior and exterior of their homes with special decor, outdoor lights and festive blow-up fixtures. 

In this vein, another  relatively new Hanukkah tradition is that of the huge, public menorah. While this phenomenon may be in some ways an imitation of the public Christmas tree, it is also a very Jewish impulse insofar as it performs the role of pirsumei nisa, publicizing the Hanukkah miracle.

Because there it is no traditional practice for Jews to decorate their homes for Hanukkah, there is a lot of room for creativity when it comes to how you want to decorate. Decorations vary a lot across the board and the world is your oyster! 

Here are some ideas to get your decorations started: 

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Explore Hanukkah’s history, global traditions, food and more with My Jewish Learning’s “All About Hanukkah” email series. Sign up to take a journey through Hanukkah and go deeper into the Festival of Lights.

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