I am so excited to celebrate this coming Feast! This year it will be from December 20-28th. This is really the first time we will be doing much of anything for Hanukah in our family. Last year my husband wasn’t quite decided what we would do during the month of December, so we were aware of it and talked about it a little bit, but didn’t celebrate.
Our Hanukiah (the Menorah for Hanukkah, which has 8 branches and a servant candle, instead of the temple Menorah which has 6 branches and a servant candle) arrived in the mail today and the candles are due to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.
One reason this Menorah is different is so there is a candle to light for each of the 8 days of Hanukkah.
We also ordered some purple lights to put up for Hanukkah, a candle lantern in each of the colors of the temple curtains and I am making a banner at Vista Print that I have posted below.
It is customary to eat fried foods, especially latkes, which are a fried food made with potatoes. Fried foods are eaten to remember the oil in the temple. I am especially excited to eat my first latkes this year =)
Here are some other fried foods to make during Hanukkah:
- Fried Pizza
- Fondue (a special pot of hot oil on the table, with several bowls of raw meat, and each person cooks their own in the pot)
- French Fries
- Fried Donuts
We also have some dreidels and I ordered some dark chocolate gelt. You can read more about the game that is traditionally played with the dreidel at this web site. I am undecided about this tradition, so if you have some input on this, please share it! =)
Hanukkah is not one of YHWH’s Feast Days, so it is not commanded to participate or to keep it as a Sabbath, but it appears that our Messiah partook of it. He was in the temple of Jerusalem during this winter feast (in John chapter 10), and since it would take a special effort to get there, He most likely went to attend the Feast. It was also at that time (in chapter 9) that He told the people He was “The Light of the World”. How apropos for a day that celebrates light. =)
The ultimate reason for the Feast is to celebrate the rededication of the Temple during the time of the Maccabees. For a brief overview, read this page at Wikipedia.
Why would a believer today want to celebrate this? It is our history since everything we have has been brought to us through Israel and since our Messiah is Jewish.
Some households exchange gifts during Chanukah, but that seems to be a more recent tradition in competition with Christmas and really has nothing to do with Hanukah.
Here is a fun song I found online about Hanukah: