Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights is a religious holiday celebrated by Jewish people. This year Hanukkah is observed November 28 through December 6, 2021. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple. Learn more about the history of Chanukah here.
The Hanukkah celebration is marked by the lighting of one candle on the menorah, a nine-branched candelabra, on each night of the festival. A new candle is added to the menorah each night and lit from newest to oldest, while reciting blessings as each candle is lit.
Traditional Hanukkah foods are typically fried in oil and include items such as potato pancakes, or latkes, and jam-filled donuts, or sufganiyot. Other holiday customs include playing with a dreidel, a four-sided spinning top, and exchanging gifts.
Resources on the Importance of Religious Freedom
A Brief History of Anti-Semitism
Your Right to Religious Freedom
Religious Freedom: What’s At Stake If We Lose It
Teaching About Freedom of Religion
Understanding Other Religious Beliefs
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