IGNIS Winter 2017-2018 - Page 16

Another big winter celebration in the USA is Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrated by Jews around the world. It centres around the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and is observed for eight nights starting on the 25th day of Kislev. This could be any time from late November to late December. The candle that is lit each night during the celebration is a nine-branched candelabrum – the menorah. Some of the songs sung include Ma’oz Tzur, Oh Chanukah or the Dreidel 16 IGNIS Song. The foods traditionally eaten are latkes (shredded potatoes, grated onions, flour, salt and eggs) and doughnuts. The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top that children play with during Hanukkah. Each side is imprinted with a Hebrew letter. The letters are acronyms for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham which translates into ‘a great miracle happened here’; referring to a miracle in the Beit Hamikdash temple. Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins or money) is given out to children.