Hey guys! TONIGHT BEGINS HANUKAH! It is one of my favorite holidays!!! Why? Read on!
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 (which had been defiled by the Greeks), 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!)
(Also, I’m sorry if this post is a little scattered….I was up SO late last night because of my sugar gliders and their new babies and then I got up a lot earlier than normal this morning, so I may be just a tad exhausted. XD And brain fogged. I seriously just spelled that wrong….help….XD XD)
*returns to subject*
The holiday itself celebrates lasts for eight nights. This year it starts tonight and ends on the 18th. So what do we do during this holiday?
I’m glad you asked!
Things That We Do During Hanukah
The hanukkiah: The hanukkiah is a candle holder that has nine branches. One for each night of Hanukah, plus one for the Servant Candle (or the shamash).
After sundown, on each night, we light candles. The first night we just do the shamash and the first candle. The second we do two plus the shamash, and so on and so forth for all of the nights of Hanukah. We sit around the candles and watch them until they’re completely gone. It’s a really peaceful time, just watching the firelight flicker off of faces and being cloaked in the gentle darkness. Ahhh.
Reading: We read about the Maccabees and Antiochus. We remember the brave deeds that were done. We read jokes. We read Hanukah stories (there is a surprising lack of good ones).
Dreidel: Ha yes! The dreidel. This is *coughs* actually a gambling game. The one time of year that it is allowed. XD We play for chocolate coins (or pencils, when the chocolate runs out). XD It’s really fun and we always end up laughing our heads off (especially when we’re the ones winning….)
Gifts: A lot of people give small gifts to each other on each of the nights of Hanukah. SUPER FUN!
Movies: Eh. Yeah. There are a few decent Hanukah cartoons out there and those are fun to watch. But beyond that, there isn’t a lot in the way of GOOD Hanukah movies.
And, of course, lots of festive foods. That leads me to my next section…
Food That We Eat During Hanukah
Ah yes. My favorite part. XD There are so many awesome foods that we eat during Hanukah. Lots of fried foods (because we remember the miracle of the oil). These include….
Latkes (will you choose sour cream or apple sauce?)
Sufganiyot (jelly filled donuts)
Challah (OF COURSE – no holiday complete without CHALLAH)
Rugelach (which I’m making today!)
Babka (the best dessert ever)
Seriously, guys, you have to try some of this food. It’s so amazing!! You won’t be sorry! Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukah, just make one of those recipes. *nods*
Songs That We Sing During Hanukah
So what are you waiting for? Go out, read the story of the Maccabees and celebrate this wonderful time of year! Hanukah starts tonight…are you ready? *long stare*
Do you celebrate Hanukah? Have you heard the story of Hanukah? What are some of your favorite festive foods? Do you like candles?