Hannukah 2017 is coming up in less than a week
This year’s celebration of the holiday will take place from December 12 through December 20 and it is a commemoration of a time in which those of Jewish culture stood up to oppression and regained their sovereignty during the second century BCE, followed by the miracle of a single day’s supply of oil lasting eight days.
Perhaps the most iconic tradition of Hannukah is the lightning of the menorah, which is a nine-branched candelabrum, in which eight candles are lit, one for each night of Hannukah. Traditional prayers are recited as the menorah is lit.
Another tradition is the dreidel, which contains Hebrew letters on each side, representing the words, “A great miracle happened there.” Coins of chocolate are used during the game and players either take coins or give coins based on how the dreidel falls.
Gifts are also bestowed during Hannukah to children, either eight small gifts for each night or one large one. The gelt refers to the chocolate coins, which are distributed to children and used for the dreidel game.
The food of Hanukkah represents the miracle of oil, which includes potato latkes as appetizers to go along with pastries such as rugelach, which is made of bread. The Ma’Oz Tzur (“Rock of Ages”) is a traditional song of the holiday which is sung following the lighting of the candles each night.