Let's Talk with Nancy J. Cohen
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. It’s early compared to other years, and I’ve been scrambling to do gift shopping ever since Thanksgiving. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah began as a battle for freedom. In days of old, the Syrians-Greeks had taken over the holy temple of Jerusalem. Freedom fighters, led by Judah Maccabee, chased them out and rededicated the temple. They lit an oil lamp that held only enough oil for one night. Miraculously, the lamp burned for eight nights. Hence the Festival of Lights to commemorate this victory. The date is set by the Hebrew calendar and can occur at any time in December.
Each night, a new candle on the menorah—a nine-branched candelabrum—is lit and accompanied by a prayer. The center one is called the shammash candle and is used to light the others. Traditional foods are eaten that are fried in oil. These include potato pancakes or latkes and jelly donuts or sufganiyot. A game is played with a dreidel, songs are sung, and gifts are exchanged. “Happy Hanukkah” is the traditional greeting.
May your holidays be festive and bring you good cheer. What traditions are your favorites?
While you’re here, check out our December contest. It runs from Dec. 1-22 with two books from Booklover’s Bench authors going to one winner. There are multiple ways to enter! CLICK for CONTEST.
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Posted in Let's Talk, with Nancy J. Cohen • Tags: driedel, Happy Hanukkah, Let's Talk, Nancy J Cohen | 30 Comments