°

Hanukkah 2011 December 20th

Hanukkah 2011 December 20th  Rosh Hashanah

Hannukka is the Jewish festival of lights.  Also known as: Chanukkah Menorah, Hannukkah Menorah or Hanukkiyah.

 Sponsored Links
 ∇

Hanukkah - A Jewish Special Occasion

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November - late December on the secular calendar.

In Hebrew, the word "hanukkah" means "dedication." The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 BCE [Before the Christian Era]

The Importance of a Hanukkiyah to The Festival of LightsHannukkah 2010

A *hanukkiyah is a candelabrum with eight candleholders in a row, plus the all important ninth candleholder set a little above the others.

It's different from a menorah, which has seven branches and was used in the Temple before it was destroyed in 70 CE.  A hanukkiyah is nevertheless a kind of menorah.

The hanukkiyah is used during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and commemorates the miracle of the oil.  According to the Hanukkah story, once Jewish revolutionaries had retaken the Temple from the Syrians they wanted to rededicate it to God and restore its ritual purity. 

Eight days worth of oil were needed to complete the ritual purification, but they were only able to find one day's worth of oil.  They lit the menorah anyway and miraculously the oil lasted for eight full days.

Significance of The Jewish Hanukkah Festival

According to Jewish law, Hanukkah is one of the less important Jewish holidays.  However, Hanukkah has become much more popular in modern practice because of its proximity to Christmas.  Because many Jews live in predominately Christian societies, over time Hanukkah has become much more festive and Christmas-like.  Jewish children receive gifts for Hanukkah - often one gift for each of the eight nights of the holiday.  Many parents hope that by making Hanukkah extra special their children won't feel left out of all the Christmas festivities going on around them.

In the USA and the UK where Santa Claus rules the month of December, some Jews have incorporated a little bit of Christmas into their Hanukkah spirit.  Some families opt to give gifts each night of Hanukkah; others may decorate their house with a "Hanukkah bush." Even though the two holidays have vastly different religious and historical origins and focus, both Christmas and Hanukkah are a beautiful opportunity to open up one's house and heart and spread some joy.Hannukkah and Christmas

Popular Hanukkah Traditions

Every community has its unique Hanukkah traditions, but there are some traditions that are almost universally practiced. They are: lighting the hanukkiyah, spinning the dreidel and eating fried foods.

Lighting the hanukkiyah: Every year it is customary to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil by lighting candles on a hanukkiyah. The hanukkiyah is lit every night for eight nights.

Spinning the Dreidel

A popular Hanukkah game is spinning the dreidel, which is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters written on each side.Hannukkah 2010

Any number can play.  Each player has a bank of 10-15 pieces of candy, or small coins.  At the start everyone puts one of their pieces into the pot.  When it's your turn you spin the driedel, depending on which face is uppermost you give or recieve pieces from the communal pot.

See here more details of how to play dreidel

Eating Fried FoodsHannukkah 2010

Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday.  Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. 

Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah) are jelly-filled doughnuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners' sugar before eating.  See picture right.

Jokes for Hanukka

The Amusing Story of the 2 Sweaters

My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one.

As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, 'Aaron, what's the matter? You didn't like the other one?'

 ф

Rudi, The Village Rabbi: A Short Joke to Laugh At

It was Hanukkah and the tiny village outside Budapest in Hungary was frightened that they may not have any latkes [pancakes] because they had run out of flour. Hannukkah Jokes

Rudi, the Rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem. He said, 'Don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour, and the latkes will be just as delicious.'

Sarah looks to her husband and says, 'Samuel, you think it'll work?'

'Of course,' Samuel replies, 'Everybody knows Rudolph the Rab knows grain, dear.'

If Your Computer were Jewish

Your "Start" button would be replaced with a "Let's go. I'm not getting any younger" button.

Year 2000 problems are replaced by "Year 6000" problems.
Hanukkah screen savers will have "Flying Dreidels".
Your PC shuts down automatically at sundown on Friday evenings.
After your computer dies, you would dispose of it within 24 hours.

Internet Explorer would now have a spinning "Star of David" in the upper right corner.

See more funny Hanukkah jokes.

»

The Eight Days of Hanukkah

On the first night of Hanukkah my true love gave to me
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the second night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the third night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fourth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the fifth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the sixth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the seventh night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
7 noodle kugels*
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

On the eighth night of Hanukkah, my true love gave to me
8 Alka-Seltzer
7 noodle kugels
6 pickled herrings
5 bowls of chicken soup
4 potato latkes
3 pounds of corned beef
2 Kosher pickles and
Lox, bagels and some cream cheese

*Kugel is a baked Jewish pudding or casserole, similar to a pie, most commonly made from egg noodles or potatoes.

Here Are the Secular Dates for Hanukkah Hannukkah Dates

2010 December 1st to December 9th
2011 December 20th to December 28th
2012 December 8th to December 16th
2013 November 27th to December 5th
2014 December 16th December 24th

NB. The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand, Will and Guy have learned. Thus all holiday observances begin at sundown on the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of the holiday. Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.

Happy Chanukah from Will and Guy

Happy Chanukah

Footnote
Will and Guy are keen to learn more about Hanukkah , so please send us your stories and interesting information.

If you like this page then please share it with your friends

 


See more dates for 2011.  Also check the day of the week for these festivals:

Chinese New Year 2011   • Valentine's Day 2011   • Chinese Valentine's 2011   • St George Day 2011

Thanksgiving 2011   • Christmas 2011   • Tour de France 2011   • Halloween 2011   • Diwali 2011

Ramadan 2011   • Eid ul-Fitr 2011   • Rosh Hashanahi 2011   • Yom Kippur 2011   • Hanukkah 2011