HELLO PEOPLE!!! *dances to I Have A Little Dreidel by The Maccabeats* HAPPY HANUKKAH!!!!! I’m so excited!!!!! Sun down brought with it the very first night of Hanukkah! *CHEERS* I absolutely LOOOVE this time of year and this holiday! I love eating homemade latkes and jelly filled doughnuts and reading the story and CELEBRATING!
So what is Hanukkah?
For all of you who aren’t familiar with this holiday, don’t worry! Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the victory of the Maccabees (led by Judah Maccabee) over the Greeks (and the nasty Antiochus) in 161 BC. It also celebrates the miracle of oil that happened! When the people went to light the menorah in the rededicated temple, they only had one day’s supply of oil. But they lit the menorah anyway and that oil lasted all eight days until the new oil was prepared! (Thus, we celebrate for eight great nights!)
Each of the eight nights, we will light our little hanukiah and watch the candles burn out. This is always so much fun. A hanukiah has nine candle holders. On the first night, (at sunset) we will light the first candle using the Shamash (the service candle that goes in the middle of the hanukiah). One the second night we will light two candles, on the third night, three, and so on until the eighth night when all the candles are lit!
What do we eat on this holiday?
Ah , food. Such a huge part of any celebration! Hanukkah is NOOO exception! This holiday has so much good food in it! There is a lot of fried yumminess because, you know, it’s very important to celebrate and remember the miracle of the oil! Be careful with frying, though. Last year our stove was engulfed in flames because of the frying. 😦 Some of the wonderful foods include…
LATKES! *mouth waters excessively* Man, oh man, these are the best! They’re made from potatoes, eggs, and salt. Then they’re fried to perfection and served with apple sauce and/or sour cream. (I dislike sour cream, so I just stick with the apple sauce.) I’d say these are one of the most important Hanukkah foods! 😛 🙂
Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)! MAKE THESE, PEOPLE, THEY ARE A MUST HAVE! I made them one year and MAN They were so good! I used sourdough to make the doughnut part and then fried them and filled them with jelly and rolled them in powdered sugar and devoured them! SO SO GOOD!!
Blintzes. This is a crepe like thing that’s filled with a variety of things. Last time I made them, I filled them with chocolate pudding! *heart eyes*
Kugel! This is really good. It’s like a noodle (or potato, I think) sweet-ish dish. 🙂
Challah. This beautiful bread belongs in just about all of the Jewish holidays (besides Passover)! I looooove this bread so much and it is so beautiful!
Rugelach. This is so much fun to make! Basically, it’s a flaky dough that’s spread with chocolate or jam and then rolled up and baked. (I once tried making these GF….let’s just say that almond flour dough doesn’t roll very well…but they tasted good.)
Babka. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Mama or I will make this every year and it is always looked forward to. It takes a looong time to make, and it’s kind of complicated, but it is so worth it! Basically, it’s a sweet bread that’s rolled out and filled with something (we do cream cheese & chocolate) and then it’s twisted up, topped with a yummy crumble and baked. When it’s cut, it has a beautiful swirly pattern!
Games and Gifts!
A lot of people will give gifts on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. (I mean, how fun is that!?) A couple of years ago, our parents gave us a bunch of paper dolls. Jehosheba and I had so much fun cutting all of those out and putting everything together. 🙂
And games!!! Everyone plays dreidel, which is SO MUCH FUN! (And yes, it is technically a gambling game but this is the one time of year that parents promote it with their kids. 😉 ) The dreidel is a four sided top type thing with four Hebrew letters on it. (Nun, gimel, hay and shin – they stand for the meaning a great miracle happened there.) Sometimes we will play with chocolate coins (gelt) or we’ll use pencils. (One year, Jehosheba, Nahum and I had this whole long dreidel tournament where we had a TON of pencils and we spent so long trying to win them all. XD)
Fun Hanukkah Music:
I love it when Mama pulls up YouTube and puts on fun Hanukkah songs. My favorite people to listen to are The Maccabeats! (Look ’em up on YouTube.) Some of my favorite songs by them are:
HAVE A HAPPY HAPPY HANUKKAH EVERYONE!!!!!!