This year Hanukkah starts November 27, 2013 and ends December 7, 2013.
The Hanukkah is a great holiday for kids and is best celebrated with family and friends. Hanukkah is an eight day holiday that gives praise to the Great Temple in Israel. Thousands of years ago, the Syrians took the Great Temple away from the Jewish people, and a small group of Jewish, untrained farmers threw this force out and reclaimed their Great Temple. This holiday is a rededication of the temple.
There is an “Eternal Flame” in each temple, which symbolizes that God is always present, regardless if one is aware of his presence or not. Although its considered a more minor holiday within the Jewish faith, its never the less a great holiday that kids can relate to and enjoy.
The Hebrew word “menorah” means candle holder, and the Hanukkah tradition requires one to light a candle each night for the span of the eight nights of the holiday. They pray throughout the eight days and the menorah is to stay in a permanent place within the home. You give gifts to the close members of your family only and as opposed to what many people think, Hanukkah has nothing to do with the Christmas holiday whatsoever.
Hanukkah Gifts are exchanged each of the eight nights. A traditional gift during this time is money and if you have kids, they usually get chocolate that is covered in gold foil that resembles gold coins.
During the Eight Days of Hanukkah, a traditional game is the Dreidel game. It’s played by spinning the Dreidel and using the letters to decide who adds or takes from the pot.
Noon - The letter N means nothing is taken or given.
Gimmel - The letter Gimmel means you take the whole pot.
Hey - The letter Hey means you take half the pot.
Pey - The letter Pey means you put money into the pot.
The game is played by families, kids and adults alike. The kids usually use the gold chocolate coins they received during the holiday.
Finally another great Hanukkah tradition is the eating of a form of jelly donuts - Sufganiyot tatste a little different and are now available in a multitude of fillings from chocolate, red jam, butterscotch and more..