Hanukkah Traditions

The story of Hanukkah is about the victory of the Jews over the Syrian-Greeks. The Hanukkah traditions make up an integral part of the festival of Hanukkah. Some of the best known Hanukkah traditions include lighting the menorah, chanting blessings, playing the dreidel game and the tradition of gifting gelts.

Lighting the Menorah

Hanukkah Traditions

The menorah or as popularly known ‘hanukiyah’ holds nine candles. The eight days of the Hanukkah is represented by the eight candles and the ninth one is used for the purpose of lighting the other candles. The candle lighting process begins with one candle and increases by an additional number as the day proceeds. This ritual of lighting an additional candle every other day not only brightens the menorah but gradually glorifies the history of Hanukkah and the miracle of Judea.

Chanting of Blessings
The first blessing is chanted keeping in mind the blessings of the Almighty who blessed all with his commandments and commanded all to light the candles of Hanukkah. The purpose of the second blessing is to thank all the ancestors who have performed the miracle of restoring the Jewish Civilization. The third blessing is also intended to thank the Lord who has kept all alive, sustained all and and enabled all to reach the season.

Tradition of Gifting Gelts

Gift Giving
Tradition of Gifting Gelts

The tradition of gifting gelts (chocolate coins) to children with or without real money with the intention of improving their academic standards is closely associated with another tradition of Hanukkah, playing the dreidel game.

The Game of Dreidel

The Game of Dreidel

The game of Dreidel is played to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah holiday. This tradition also reminds the youngsters the reason for Hanukkah. There is also another meaning attached to the letters of Dreidel. Each letter represents one of the four empires including Babylonian, Greek, Persian and Roman which have tried to destroy the Jewish people.

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