Hanukkah, the ‘festival of lights’, starts on the 25th day of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev. Kids love the holiday, which is celebrated for eight dazzling nights. From the lighting of the menorah to the reciting of blessings and all the traditions in between, they are mesmerized by the magic of this celebration. It is a time to remember the past and look into the future. Hanukkah is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the Jewish army, led by Judah Maccabees, over the Greek soldiers and the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The festival is celebrated with joy and devotion by Jews all across the world.
Chanukah reminds Jews of the fact that the Jewish people endured centuries of strife and conflict. When celebrating the festival, they ensure that apart from having fun during the holiday, all the traditions are strictly followed. They take special efforts to keep the Menorah lit continuously throughout the eight days of Hanukkah and chant all the Jewish blessings before lighting each candle. Apart from that, Jewish people indulge in a number of activities to utilize their holiday in the best possible way. Here is a list of all the activities that are undertaken on Hanukah. Go through them and decide how you want to spend your day.
Fun Chanukah Activity Ideas
Decorating the House
Hanukkah is no exception to the pompous decorations, glitzy fervor and colorful illuminations that accompany the festivals of today. You can decorate your home with the Star of David or even make your own candles from the different varieties of candle making materials, ranging from gel, wax or scent candle, and use them for decorative purposes. Yet another option is to make clay menorah and decorate your home with the same. Even lights can be sued for the purpose. It all depends on your creativity that you can explore.
Praying on Hanukkah
The festival also involves praying to the Lord, asking Him to shower His blessings on you and your family members. In fact, praying is the most important ritual of Hanukah. Candles are added to the menorah, from right to left in Hebrew writing style, for eight days. After reciting the blessings, candles are lit from left to right (new to the oldest) and should ideally burn for half and hour on each night. The candles are lit in order to show the miracle that took place in the holy temple. They are left burning until they go out on their own.
Various dishes like latkes, cookies, potato pancakes fruit-filled doughnuts and jelly doughnuts form a part of Hanukkah decoration, though it is on the platter. All of them are the food symbols that are specifically symbolic to Chanukah. All of them are fried in oil and remind Jews of the miracle of the small flask of oil that managed to burn for eight nights.
Playing Dreidel & Giving Gifts
Dreidel is a betting game, played by the families after lighting the candles on menorah, with each of the sides indicating what the player who spins it has to do. It has been associated with Hanukkah since the very start. Gelts are the coins that are given as gifts to kids, during holiday season. Children in Jewish families are also motivated to distribute their money as alms to the poor.