The Griffin Chronicle

What is Hanukkah?

Emily Cochran, Staff Writer

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Since Hanukkah is starting soon, many people are beginning to break out their candelabras and wrap presents, but surprisingly, many people have no idea what Hanukkah is. Out of the 20 people I interviewed, 90% said they know little to nothing about this Jewish holiday, and the other 10% said they knew because of a friend or family member.

This leaves many wondering to themselves, what is Hanukkah? Hanukkah is an eight day long festival that is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a menorah. Every night, a candle is lit by a member of the household until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the holiday. The Menorah is often placed in a doorway, window, synagogue, or other public place, depending on the family’s preference. In recent years, many larger Menorahs have been placed in front of legislative buildings, malls, parks, as well as other public areas to let people from all religions and standings celebrate together.

By the eighth night of Chanukah all eight lights are kindled. After that, special blessings are recited, and  traditional songs are sung. Other activities that occur on Hanukkah include playing dreidel, eating foods such as challah bread, and Hanukkah gelt, or Chanukah money which can be given out to children in small amounts throughout the Hanukkah season. Since the 1970’s, Hanukkah has become more accepted on a larger scale, which is also helping Hanukkah become more widely known as well. In summary, Hanukkah is widespread Jewish holiday that occurs 8 days a year and celebrates religion.

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