5 things you might not know about Hanukkah

  • Sol Rivero

Happy Hanukkah, everyone! The 8 nights of festivity begin today, and we are celebrating it by telling you 5 things you might not know about this Jewish event!


Thing you might not know about Hanukkah #5: Do the participants exchange gifts?

In more recent years, thanks to the proximity of Hanukkah and Christmas, it became common to give small presents to kids. Traditionally, however, the only present given should be small coins called “gelt”.



Thing you might not know about Hanukkah #4: What’s a “dreidel”?

The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top which contains different letters on each side, forming the initials “A great miracle happened there”. The dreidel is used as a game in which the players gain or lose money or candies depending on the letter that turns up after spinning.



Thing you might not know about Hanukkah #3: Why do they light 9 candles?

The candleholder or menorah typically contain 7 candles, while the candleholder used for Hanukkah, or “Hanukkiah”, can hold 9 candlesticks. 8 of them represent the number of days that the kosher oil contained by the Temple lasted after being reclaimed by the Jewish. The ninth candle is used to light up the others, since the latter can’t be used to light up any other candle.



Thing you might not know about Hanukkah #2: What does “Hanukkah” mean?

“Hanukkah” is roughly translated as “dedication” or “to dedicate”, and indicates how the faithful should feel about the Temple and their religion. “Chanukah”, the name of the Festival of Lights, can also mean “they rested on the 25th”, which was the last day of the wars between the Maccabees and the Syrians.



Thing you might not know about Hanukkah #1: Why does the date change every year?

Unlike Christmas and some holidays which are fixed on a specific date, Hanukkah depends on a lunar and solar calendar, unlike the Gregorian calendar, which depends only on the sun. Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of the Kislev month, which can change from year to year due to faults of the calendar, and it occurs between November and December.



Do you celebrate Hanukkah?


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November 27, 2013

Sol Rivero.


Her new leaf. Ten things you might not know about Hanukkah. http://www.hernewleaf.com/2011/12/21/ten-things-you-might-not-know-about-hanukkah/
Time. Top 10 things you didn’t know about Hanukkah. http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1947041_1947040_1947039,00.html