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Hanukkah The Festival of Lights (part 2)

Hanukkah The Festival of Lights (part 2)

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Hanukkah Traditions: Decorations, Games and Lights

What is Hanukkah all about can be described by its long Hanukkah history and rich Hanukkah traditions. These Hanukkah traditions have been celebrated for centuries and are based on the Hanukkah miracle seen by Judah and fellow Jews. To celebrate these Hanukkah origins, Jews all over the world bedeck their homes with Hanukkah decorations around November and December each year, depending on where the Festival of Lights falls on the Hebrew calendar. Hanukkah gifts and Hanukkah games like spin the dreidel are usually involved and add fun to the festive holiday.

To celebrate Hanukkah history, Jews light the menorah every night for a period of eight days to symbolize the Hanukkah miracle of one day's amount of oil lasting longer. Like the Hanukkah traditions of Judah's time, the menorah is put on display for everyone to remember. Although Hanukkah facts show a difference in the way modern-day menorahs look: They have nine branches instead of seven. Present-day Hanukkah traditions also include reciting blessings and exchanging gifts after the menorah is lit.

Hanukkah traditions to celebrate the holiday besides lighting the menorah also include preparing a holiday meal. Special food for these Hanukkah traditions often includes items like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam-filled doughnuts) that are fried in oil to commemorate the oil burning for eight days. Other Hanukkah traditions include exchanging gifts and playing Hanukkah games like spin the dreidel where a four-sided spinning top is inscribed with Hebrew letters to spell out "a great miracle happened there." Often Hanukkah candy is used as the game pieces in the form of chocolate coins and players spin to win the prize.

Kosher Hanukkah candy from the Jelly Belly Candy Company and dreidel are also great when used as Hanukkah decorations. Other festive Hanukkah decorations are often in tones of blue, silver, and gold and include 6-pointed stars (Star of David) and menorahs. In addition to menorahs for Hanukkah decorations, Jewish families often have special menorahs that they light, and they can be simply designed or elaborate. From Hanukkah traditions like playing games and exchanging Hanukkah gifts to learning about Hanukkah history, Jews and non-Jews alike can appreciate this special time of year.
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