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!

  • 2015 Dates - celebrated on December 6 to December 14
  • 2016 Dates - celebrated on December 24 to January 1, 2017
  • 2017 Dates - celebrated on December 12 to December 20
  • 2018 Dates - celebrated on December 2 to December 10
  • 2019 Dates - celebrated on December 22 to December 30
  • 2020 Dates - celebrated on December 10 to December 18


Hanukkah Meal


Truckee Area Hanukkah Events

The North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation at 700 Latone Blvd, Tahoe Vista, CA is having a Chanukah Celebration on December 6, 2015 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.

Details: Sisterhood will put on a Brisket and Latke dinner. Religious School will put on a children's Carnival. The Sisterhood gift shop will be open. Pick-Your-Prize Raffle and Silent Auction will take place.

Live Entertainment! Contact Bonnie Meyers for donations for silent auction and raffle prizes for children of all ages.




Fun Hanukkah Holiday Facts

Here are a Few Interesting Fun Facts:

  • It’s 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 December. In 2015, it is celebrated on December 6, 2015 through December 14, 2015.

  • 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.

  • It’s 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 are lit.

  • Prayers of praise and thanksgiving are offered to God during this time.


Hanukkah Candles




Hanukkah Customs that are Celebrated today:

Customs that are celebrated today include:

  • Lighting 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.

  • Spinning 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 holiday foods.


Hanukkah Treats - Deep-fried jelly filled donuts called Sufganiot

Hanukkah Treats - Deep-fried jelly filled donuts called Sufganiot

The meal usually includes:

  • Meat: Usually brisket or chicken is served.

  • Side 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.

  • Traditional 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.









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