Holiday Traditions

Hanukkah, Festival of Lights

By December 10, 2020December 11th, 2020No Comments

December 10 – 18, 2020

Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.  The event occurred when Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian rulers during the Maccabean Revolt, driving them out of Jerusalem.  To commemorate their victory, the victors went to reclaim the temple by lighting the menorah but only found enough pure oil to last a single day.  This one-day supply lasted eight days and is considered a miracle in the Jewish faith.

Every year Hanukkah begins at sundown on the 25th day of Kisle (a month in the Hebrew Calendar.)  Each evening, people of the Jewish faith light one candle on a nine-branched menorah, often displayed in a window or prominently in the home.  The ninth candle situated in the center of the Menorah, is known as the shamash.  It is used to light the other eight.  In 2020, Hanukkah runs December 10 – 18.

In the United States, celebrations often include playing with dreidels – a spinning top-like toy, exchanging gifts, and eating chocolate coins.  Similar to other cultures and traditions, food is a center piece of the holiday, as families prepare challah, latkes, apple cake, sufganiyot and more.

To all who celebrate Hanukkah, Food Lifeline wishes you Chag Sameach!

To learn more about the local Jewish community, find resources and more information, check out the following organizations:

Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle

Seattle Jewish Universe