Chanukah/Hanukkah 2018

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Chanukah/Hanukkah 2018

Postby Lady Arwen » Nov 27, 2018 11:02 pm

Hello, Nwebbers! I figured, since we have a Christmas thread every year, it might not hurt to have a Chanukah thread, too, if people are interested!

This is one of my very favorite holidays. For those of you unfamiliar, Chanukah is the festival of lights, and it is meant to commemorate the miracle of the dedication of the Temple after Israel was freed from Greek control. Essentially, when they went in to clean up the Temple, the Maccabees only found one jar of pure oil. It would only light the Temple Menorah for a single day, but it would take eight days for new, pure, oil to be made! Still, they chose to light the Menorah, and the oil miraculously lasted until the new oil was ready, eight days later. The holiday also serves as a reminder that we are to carry the light in our own hearts always. Chanukah starts this year in the evening of December 2nd, and runs through December 10th.

I am, personally, still learning about Chanukah, as my history with the holiday is a little different (so apologies for any inaccuracies!). My family celebrated throughout my early childhood, but stopped probably around the time I hit double digits, for no particular reason. To be honest, I think my parents just lost track of the days and forgot, and no one protested. About five years ago, one of my (very young) Judaic students found out I wasn't planning on celebrating, and got very concerned, to the point that he offered to build me a menorah out of his father's leftover wood and glue, "because everyone needs to light the candles." Thus guilt-tripped by a child, I went online and bought a menorah (because I didn't want to dare going through my parents' boxes to try to find our old one!). It ended up being a wonderful few days for me, and, since I was by myself, I would often end up just sitting and watching my candles burn and introspecting. I celebrated on my own for a couple years, but last year my parents celebrated several days with me, and we've gotten back into making some of the foods and actually spending time re-connecting over it and re-learning everything that goes along with the lighting of the candles. We're planning on celebrating together again this year, which I am excited about.

What is your Chanukah experience? What are your favorite moments?
Do you have a big celebration, or a smaller one?
Do you have any foods that you simply HAVE to make?
Latkes or sofganiyot? Or something else?
Do you have any little people in your life? What special activities do you do together?
And finally...are candy canes acceptable substitutions for gelt (chocolate coins)? This one's been a raging debate in my circles, so I'm interested to hear your take on it. ;))
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