Hanukkah began Sunday, December 6, and ends Monday, December 14th. Most people have a general idea of what Hanukkah is, but they don’t really know what all of the symbols mean or where the symbols came from. Here are eight Hanukkah things – for the eight days of Hanukkah – that you probably didn’t know about.
- Menorah- Provides light and represents wisdom and divine inspiration.
- 8 days- They divided one nights worth of oil for the menorah into eight parts, and it miraculously lasted for eight nights.
- Dreidel- The Syrians tried to make it illegal to practice Judaism, so Jewish children who wanted to study their religion had to do so in private. The children would go out into the woods to learn away from the Syrian’s watchful eyes, but, just in case a Syrian came along, they always kept a top (dreidel) with them so they could pretend they were simply playing not studying.
- Blue and White- The colors of the Israeli flag.
- Latkes- These are similar to deep fried pancakes; the deep frying in oil represents the miracle of the Menorah.
- Gelt- This is a candy gift designed as chocolate money. Part of the idea and spirit of Hanukkah is to give gifts that are thoughtful and sweet.
- Spelling Hanukkah- There are 16 different ways to spell it, and none of them are considered incorrect. Here are some of the most common spellings: Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hannukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah.
- The Date- It’s not always on the same date because it’s based on the Jewish calendar, which is lunar, so it can start any time in late November or early December.