The holiday, called Hanukkah, which is celebrated on the 6th of December, is one of the most famous Jewish festivals. People all over the World celebrate it. For example, a menorah that lightens up the National Mall is considered to be a recognizable feature of the fest in America.
Looking back, this time of the year was not the best for the nation. That is why the great men of Hanukkah story could probably not approve it as a celebration. We provide some ideas for you to grasp the conception of the occasion.
1. Spell Hanukkah correctly.
The word penetrated the English language; therefore, there are few versions of spelling: Chanukkah/Chanu/ Hanukah/Hanukkah/Chanukah. This topic is rather controversial and causes a lot of arguments. Variants starting with Ch- are more traditional.
2. The history of Hanukkah
The importance of Hanukkah is exaggerated. The customs of this holiday do not differ a lot from those maintained during such religious holidays as Shabbat. The peculiarity of Hanukkah is to light up the candles on the special candlestick with eight branches, which symbolize the nights of the celebration. Apparently, within thousands of years, Hanukkah has been attaining additional traditions.
Why has the holiday become a very momentous event for the Jews? The answer is Christmas. The Jews moving in the 20th century to America established the fest as a variation of winter holidays. What is more, the scientists define such actions as an act of the popularization of synagogues among the middle class and kids. Then the tradition started by the immigrants was passed on to the Jewish diaspora in other countries.
3. Something to make kids happy.
With hindsight, kids received money as a present on Hanukkah. These days, things changed a little bit. Instead of cash, parents use chocolate coins and more traditional gifts. Some people think the idea of donations resembles Christmas. Nevertheless, they haven’t simply replicated an American style of it.
4. Celebration’s menu.
The Jews living in Eastern and Central Europe have different dishes appropriate during the fest. Some prefer pancakes made of potato (Latkes), the others like fried donuts (sufganyot). What unites them is the use of oil. This can be explained with the help of a myth, where the central role was given to this liquid. Believe it or not, in some magical way, a very small quantity of oil was enough per eight days. These events took place in the time of war with the Greeks. Originally, the Jews associated the occasion with the victory over the Greeks.
Hanukkah is a holiday with its story starting in before the Christ era. Within the centuries, the mode of celebration has been changed. Probably, some elements were taken from other fests. But you should be aware of some its features. This is a simple sign of respect for other people and their traditions.