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Hanukkah Facts for Kids

Hanukkah Facts for Kids

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is an 8 night long celebration.  Celebrated by Jewish people all around the world.  It is celebrated on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.  Hanukkah can begin anywhere from late November through December.

 

What Does Hanukkah Celebrate?

Thousands of years ago, a Greek King sent his soldiers into Jerusalem and took over the Jewish Temple. He also outlawed Judaism and renamed the temple after the Greek God Zeus.  

On the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev the Jewish people revolted and took back their temple. They cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it.  They brought back Jewish worship. 

Hanukkah is the celebration of winning the war against the Greeks and getting back their temple.

Hanukkah was said to last 8 days, the same as the 8-day festival of Sukkot. Legend says that when the Jewish people took back their temple there was a small jar of oil that they lit for light.  The small jar had enough oil to stay lit for one night but a miracle happened and it stayed lit for 8 nights.

 

Menorah

A menorah is a special candle holder that holds nine candles.

Candles are placed on the menorah from right to left and lit left to right.

The 8 candles represent each night of Hanukkah.

The 9th candle is called the Shamash also known as the “attendant”, “Servant” or “helper “candle.

The Shamash is usually in the middle and set a little bit higher than the other candles.  It is used to light the other candles.

 

What is a Dreidel?

Dreidel is Yiddish for “spinning Top.”

A dreidel is a pointed 4-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side.

Playing the dreidel game is a popular activity for Hanukkah.

 

Hanukkah Facts

  • Hanukkah is Hebrew for “to dedicate.”
  • It can be spelled many ways including Chanukah or Chanukkah.
  • Some people call it the Festival of Lights or Festival of Dedication.
  • Traditional Hanukkah foods include: potato pancakes called latkes, noodle or potato casserole called kugel, gelt (chocolate coins), jelly doughnuts called sufaniyot
  • Fun Fact – 17.5 million donuts are eaten in Israel during Hanukkah… that’s a lotta donuts!!

Read an article to learn more about Hannukah (https://www.kidsplayandcreate.com/fun-hanukkah-facts-for-kids/), and color this picture.

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