Continuing the “holiday month” theme, the focus this week is on Hanukkah! Although celebrated all over the world, the tradition dates back to the Maccabean Revolt in modern day Israel.
Learn: Hanukkah is an 8-day celebration commemorating a crucial Israelite military victory & the burning of the new Temple’s menorah for 8 days. Just like Bodhi Day last week, this festival is also called a “Festival of Lights.” (Love the similarities) Hanukkah’s dates change every year based on the Jewish Calendar but this year’s 8-day celebration takes place between December 17-24th.
Fun Fact: The White House celebrates Hanukkah every year! Since 2001, the White House has hosted a festival dinner for hundreds of American Jewish politicians, school deans, and organization leaders. The tradition began appearing after PM David Ben-Gurion gave President Harry Truman a menorah in 1951.
Activities: If you happen to be in Israel during this festive time, make sure to enjoy the food and ongoing festivities, while learning a little bit of the history and importance of the event. Eat a lot of sufganiyot (donuts) and latkes (fried potato pancakes), play the game of dreidel, give or receive small gifts each day of the celebration, and practice the lighting of a menorah each day (from left to right).