What is Hanukkah?
Hanukka (a.k.a. Chanukah) is an 8-day celebration commemorating the 2nd century B.C. rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. According to legend, this was when Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors during the Maccabean Revolt.
The word “Hanukkah,” which means “dedication” in Hebrew, is also referred to as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah – a candelabra with 9 placeholders. On each of the eight nights, a candle is lit by a special ninth candle called the “shammash.” A time of giving and receiving presents, along with the lighting of the menorah, gifts are given each night while traditional foods and games are enjoyed as well.
When is Hanukkah?
Hanukkah begins on the 25th of the Jewish calendar month of Kislev, which usually falls somewhere in the month of December or possibly even late November. For the exact dates of when Hanukkah will occur this year, and for the next few years, click here.
Menorah – Hanukkah Candle
Decorating for Hanukkah
Hanukkah decorations add beauty to any event whether you’re inviting a large group of people over to celebrate or have a small gathering planned instead. If you’re wondering how to decorate for Hanukkah, it’s easy! Just choose items with hues of blue and silver to honor the traditional colors of Hanukkah.
You could have a strand of white and blue lights encircling the door outside or lining the eaves of the home to welcome visitors to your party. A beautiful bouquet of white and blue flowers is also a lovely way to echo the theme in your home.
Starlight Holiday Centerpiece
Subtle Touches for a Small Gathering
If you’re not apt to decorate with bright lights and decorations, a subtle way to add some beauty to the event is a simple bouquet of lilies to symbolize the peace and joy of the season. Using dishes with little hints of blue or providing blue napkins is another small way to dress the event.
A delicious and traditional addition to a small Hanukkah gathering is a display of different types of cheese, particularly if you’re not serving a full meal. Cheese honors the ancient heroine Judith (Yehudit), who helped slay a general with the help of cheese.
What to Bring to a Hanukkah Party
What if your friends have invited you to a Hanukkah Party and you’ve never attended such a celebration? You may choose from a variety of thematic gifts that pair well with the holiday, as well as universal gifts that are appropriate for almost any late fall gathering, such as seasonal fruit.
Hanukkah Music Glitter Globe
One popular food for today’s Hanukkah celebrants is a plate of jelly doughnuts since they’re usually easier to find than latkes, which are a type of fried potato pancakes. Some bakeries even offer kosher doughnuts during the Hanukkah season for those who keep kosher.
Wine is another popular item to bring to a Hanukkah celebration, and it’s easy to match wine with traditional Hanukkah dishes. For example, chardonnay pairs well with potato latkes.
This year, make your Hanukkah experience more festive with delicious food, delicate flowers, and beautiful blue decorations.