Hanukkah Candles

If you're thinking of lighting Hanukkah candles this year, you may have many questions. This article will discuss the meaning and traditions that are behind lighting these candles. It will also touch on the significance that lie behind the tradition. Before you purchase your first glasses, it's important to know the history behind the tradition. Here are some suggestions to get you going. Enjoy! Don't be overwhelmed!


While the majority of Jews celebrate the holiday because of its religious significance the ritual of lighting candles is not without a sense of tradition. Candles hold a special significance and are lit to commemorate the power of oil. Traditionally, money was given to charities with each candle, referred to as gelt. Children are also given gelt or money for each day of Hanukkah. A Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, with the letters of which signify the words: Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which means "miracle of oil."

Jewish scholars believe that the first Hanukkah is a late celebration of Sukkot. Sukkot is a seven-day holiday for feasting and prayer, is one of the most important holidays of the Jewish religion. The tradition of lighting candles on Hanukkah centers around the kindling of a nine-branched menorah. The ninth candle, known as shamash is used to light the rest of the candles. The holiday is also marked by the recitation of blessings by Jews as they light the menorah.

The custom of lighting a candle on Hanukkah has a particular meaning. The eight-day holiday is akin to going above and beyond. Every member of the household lights one candle every night. Two candles are lit on the first night. Each night after that, two candles are lit. Each candle is supposed to burn for around 30 minutes each night.

The tradition of lighting a menorah also dates back to the 18th century in which people were forced to buy candles instead of olive oil. Winter oil was expensive for the poor to purchase. In actual fact, Jews were often unable to pay for olive oil during the winter months, when temperatures were the lowest. Therefore, wealthy Germans introduced menorahs. Synagogues quickly followed. As a symbol of the menorah's oil, Jews eat fried food during the celebration. Sufganiyot is Hebrew for fried food like jelly donuts.


The history behind Hanukkah candles is not well-known. Many Jewish families celebrate Hanukkah using candles of different kinds and colors. Many candles are used to light the menorah. Some are made of artificial ingredients such as wax or sugar. Candles are used only to light candles during the holiday season, however, the custom of lighting them is not a mandatory part of the celebration.

There are many stories that explain the use of candles to celebrate Hanukkah. Jewish customs have been long associated with lighting menorahs during the holiday. The menorah commemorates an event that occurred during the Maccabean revolt that took place in the second century BCE. Actually, the menorahs were part of Jewish culture for several centuries. Candles are used for many purposes in the present.

The menorah is a candelabrum that has nine branches, and the candles that light it are referred to as shammash (in Hebrew, sham-mash) which is lit to light the others. According to Jewish laws candles that are regular in their use should only be used for special occasions and miracles like the Hanukkah. Although the menorah is usually displayed on the holiday but it can also be used all year long. Many people make use of menorahs throughout the year long. This is not only beautiful, but it is also a mitzvah to keep the menorah in good condition.

The origins of Hanukkah candles have their roots in history and the Maccabees re-dedicated the Temple to honor the Maccabees' victory against the Greek King Antiochus. At the time, the Jewish people only had enough oil to light their candles for a single day, but their miracle was so impressive, they had to wait for eight days in order to replenish the oil. The Maccabees were able to rededicate the Temple in eight days. The oil lasts for eight days and the Jews were capable of keeping the lamps burning and celebrate the Maccabees' victory.


One of the most significant customs associated with Hanukkah is the lighting of Hanukkah candles. The Hanukkah miracle is celebrated in this manner, and the Jews light their menorahs every night of the holiday. There are nine candles in the menorah. Each candle is lit by a different candle , referred to as a Shamash. Candles for Hanukkah are made out of wax or oil. The traditional oil used is olive oil.

The first night of the holiday is the day for lighting the candle called 'Shamash.' The first candle to be lit is the 'Shamash and the candles are lit in order from left to right. The candle with the newest flame is lit first, and the candles are lit from left to right. This tradition is believed to be a sign of the first night's candle is not always lit first. The second night of the holiday is a night to read the Torah and other important texts.

There are many interpretations to the tradition of lighting candles for Hanukkah. One of the oldest meanings for lighting candles at Hanukkah is a story of the struggle of the Jews for freedom in 17th century. Judah Maccabee led his small army to defeat the Syrian-Greek army. This enabled them to return Jerusalem and the Holy Temple back to God. This story, known as the Maccabee's Miracle, is also celebrated during the time of the holiday.

Two menorahs will be lit in Dartmouth's Green Center for Jewish Life and Roth Center for Jewish Life as the first day of Hanukkah gets closer. Both menorahs should be lit on Sunday, the 22nd of December. Chabad is the Jewish group that is responsible for the menorah on Green and Dartmouth Hillel is the sponsor for the Roth Center for Jewish Life.

Lighting traditions from the past

Light the menorah for Hanukkah to celebrate the holiday. The menorah, also referred as Hanukkiah, is a nine-branched candelabra, which is lit for eight nights during the holiday. The shamash candle is lit the first and then the candles are lit in an incremental order, starting from left to right. To celebrate the miracle, the candles are lit this way.

The tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles began in Palestine. The basic mitzva of lighting candles was explained in the Talmud. It was performed by the mehadrin, which was a group of meticulous mitzvah performers. As time passed it was customary to change the ritual from lighting one candle to lighting several candles as a result of that, today, more than one candle is lit each Hanukkah night.

Hanukkah is a time for many songs, in addition to lit menorahs. After the candles have been lit the traditional song "Maoz Tzur" is performed. Modern songs include "The Latke Song", and "I Have a Little Dreidel."

Candles are lit on the menorah each night, from left to right. Two candles are usually lit on the first night. Then, a Shamash is lit every night. The first shamash is lit followed by the candles being placed on top and lit from left-to-right. A blessing called Mussaf is also said before every night.

In addition to the shamash along with the shamash, the Hanukkah candle has seasonal significance. Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev when the light is at its lowest. It also helps to get rid of winter blues. While the holiday does not have anything to involve attending synagogue service or reading the Bible, it is a time to spend with family. These customs are worth keeping since they have their origins in the past of Hebrew history.

Foods eaten during Hanukkah celebrations

Potato pancakes are Hanukkah's most traditional food. They can be served with sweet or savoury dishes. Latke, which is fried potato pancakes, is an ode to the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. Latkes are an essential Hanukkah favorite and are usually served with sour-cream, applesauce, or brandade.

Fried food is a common feature of Hanukkah celebrations, specifically latkes and challah. Most of these dishes are made with olive oil, although rendered poultry fat can be used too. Deep-fried dough puffs stuffed with honey or sugar are another well-known Hanukkah dessert. Deep-fried dough puffs that are filled with honey or sugar are a well-loved Hanukkah treat. They also represent of the Maccabees cakes.

Fried potato pancakes are a traditional Hanukkah dish. They are referred to as levivot (in Hebrew) and latkes (in Yiddish). These pancakes are made by mixing onion, potatoes egg, flour, and spices into a batter before forming them into thin pancakes. Once cooked, the latkes are fried in oil before being served with applesauce or sour-cream.

Potato latkes, which are a traditional Hanukkah food are a must for the holiday. They are served with sour cream and applesauce. These crispy pancakes are great by themselves or combined with charoset, the apple sauce or tahini. Other traditional Hanukkah dishes include potato salad and knishes.