Festival Of Lights – Celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabees success fighting against the Syrians (2nd century B.C.E.). Commemorated by lighting candles during each night.
THIS YEAR Hanukkah begins at sunset on Saturday, December 8, 2011, and ends at sunset on Sunday, December 16, 2012
from Avrham Rosenthal:
On the first night of Chanukah we light one candle. On each subsequent night
another candle is added, until the last night when we light eight candles.
On the first night, the first candle is placed on the right side of the
Menorah. From the second night of Chanukah and onwards, the additional
candles are placed to the left of the first candle. However, when lighting,
the candle furthest to the left is lit first, and then one proceeds towards
• A mitzvah each night – children take 8 pieces of paper and write one extra nice thing they can do for their family each day.
When they light the candles they pull out one ‘mitzvah’ and try to do that before then next evening.
• A food tradition we thought of – after Sukkot you need to find a way to make a mitzvah with the etrog and lulav… So we make citrus jam with the etrog and oranges and then we share it with family and friends at Hanukkah time… goes well with latkes too.
• Have a treasure hunt for the children. Make clues and hide the clues one leading to the next until the children find their Chanukah ‘treasures’. Best if the clues relate to the story of Chanukah. Follow the “Macabee Treasure map” etc. (from Ethyl Kunes)
• Another ‘new’ Chanukah tradition – A focus on miracles at this time
in a good way to add more meaning to this holiday.
While we recall the ‘miracle’ of the Macabee’s success – each night
we try to discuss another miracle in history or in our lives now. It
is very interesting to think of other instances where ‘right won over
might’ or when ‘good came from believing the right thing will happen
against unlikely odds’. It makes for an excellent family discussion
and in keeping with the spirit of Chanukah.