This week sees the start of Hanukkah, a Jewish festival that commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek rulers of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple in 164 BCE.
It also celebrates a miracle that accompanied this event: When the temple was rededicated, God miraculously made the one day’s worth of oil burn brightly for eight days.
The lighting of candles is an important part of Hanukkah. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two are lit on the second, and so on, until all eight are lit on the eighth night. During or after the lighting of the candles, blessings are recited.
Families eat fried foods to celebrate the miracle of the oil.
- Potato latkes are very popular. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/potato-recipes/basic-latkes/
- Hanukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTgzw-BODsg
Play Spin the Dreidel
A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with the Hebrew letters nun, gimel, hay, and shin drawn on each side. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “A great miracle happened there,” and they also stand for Yiddish words that represent the rules of the game: nit(nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put).
Each player begins with an equal amount of nuts, pennies, sweets, or other small pieces, players take turns spinning the dreidel. Before each spin, each person puts one piece into the centre. If the spin lands on nun, nothing happens. If it lands on gimel the player collects all the pieces and everyone starts again. If it lands on hay the player takes half the pieces in the centre and If it lands on shin the player to put one more piece in the centre.
Find out More about Hanukkah