Hanukkah in Truckee
Hanukkah or Chanukah is an interesting Jewish holiday that most of us
know little about. It’s also known as the "Festival of Lights", and the
word means dedication. It is actually one of the less important Jewish
holidays, but because it is so near to Christmas, it has become much more popular. We see blue "stuff" and menorahs everywhere during Christmas, but beyond that, most of us know little about this holiday of God’s love for His people!
- 2023 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 7 to Eve December 15
- 2024 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 25 to Eve January 2, 2025
- 2025 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 14 to Eve December 22
- 2026 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 4 to Eve December 12
- 2027 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 24 to Eve January 1, 2028
- 2028 Dates - celebrated on Eve December 12 to Eve December 20
Fun Hanukkah Holiday Facts
Here are a Few Interesting Fun Facts:
a holiday that follows the Jewish calendar and is celebrated for eight
days. The Jewish calendar is lunar based, so each year the holiday falls
on a different days. It usually falls between late November and late
- It’s the story of God showing His love for His people, and their desire to honor Him by remembering what He did for them.
a story that happened over 2000 years ago when the Holy Lands were
ruled by the Greeks. A small army of faithful Jews defeated the Greeks
and drove their army from the land. That was a miracle because the
Greeks were very powerful. God had handed over the powerful to the weak.
The Jewish people reclaimed their Holy temple in Jerusalem, and
rededicated it to service to God. Part of that service was to light the
menorah. There was only enough purified olive oil to light the candle
for one day. It burned for eight days, until more purified oil could be
made. God had done another miracle. To commemorate these miracles, the
festival of Chanukah was started. Each night of the 8 day festival, a
new candle of the menorah would be lit, remembering the 8 days that God
kept the candles burning. By the end of the festival all eight lights
- Prayers of praise and thanksgiving are offered to God during this time.
Hanukkah Customs that are Celebrated today:
Customs that are celebrated today include:
a nine branched menorah which is a candelabrum. Each day a new light
is lit. By the end of the holiday, all eight lights will be lit. The
ninth light is to have a light available to light the other candles,
because it is forbidden to use Hanukkah lights for lighting the candles.
the dreidel which is a spinning top that includes Jewish letters that
mean, "A great Miracle Happened there"! The dreidel is a four sided top.
It’s a game that is played during the holidays.
- Hanukkah gifts of money are given to children also.
- Eating fried foods which help remember the miracle of oil.
Traditional Hanukkah Holiday Foods
During Hanukkah many families invite their relatives and friends over to
light the Menorah, play dreidel, exchange gifts, and eat traditional
Hanukkah Treats - Deep-fried jelly filled donuts called Sufganiot
The meal usually includes:
- Meat: Usually brisket or chicken is served.
dishes usually include the most popular food called Latkes.
Traditionally they were made with potatoes, but today there are twists
on this favorite, from sweet potatoes to other vegetables, and even tuna
latkes. Each family has their traditional recipe, but all are fried.
- Dairy: Serving dairy is another tradition, so cheeses are often served.
- Deep-fried jelly filled donuts called Sufganiot. These are especially loved by all kids.
treats of cakes and cookies. There are cut-out decorated sugar cookies,
cupcakes shaped like Menorahs, many other cakes and cookies, candy
dreidels, and the jelly donuts!
God has been faithful to the Jewish people
throughout history. I love the fact that they set aside Hanukkah to
remember God’s faithfulness to them, and to bring Honor to Him. Many
blessings to all, as you celebrate this awesome holiday of "Gods Great
Faithfulness to His People"!
This page was written with the assistance of my sister Kerry, from Healthy Diet Habits.