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Holidays Around the World – Hanukkah @ Girl-Doll Fashion Gossip

  Holidays Around the World – Hanukkah (Doll Article)

(November 30, 2007 by JeZz Send DollMail )
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Hanukkah, or more correctly Chanukkah, is an eight day festival celebrated by those of the Jewish faith during the month of December. It has no relation to Christmas or Santa Clause (which is fitting since Jews aren’t Christians and Santa Clause doesn’t particularly belong to any religion.) Chanukkah is a festival of lights that usually involves some light gift giving, although some families have expanded the gift giving aspect to fit the generosity of the overall Holiday season.

Origins of Chanukkah

The eight day festival is based on ancient Jewish history. There was a time in Greece, where the Greek leader began to persecute the Jews. He ordered the Jewish temple to be desecrated, which means dishonored. His orders were followed and the Jews fought back to protect their temple, their rights and their faith.

When they finally won the fight, the Jews had to rededicate their temple. According to the Talmud, which is the Jewish religious book (similar to the Bible or Koran), there was almost no oil left to light the menorah, or candelabrum (a candle stick that holds multiple candles.) Miraculously, they poured in as much oil as they had, and instead of lasting only one day, the oil lasted eight days and nights – enough time to prepare a new batch of oil. The candle was symbolic and holy, by the way, not just a source of light.

To celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting through the rededication when it should have been long gone after only a few hours, an eight day festival was established. Today we call this festival Chanukkah, or Hanukkah.

Hanukkah Today

Chanukkah is actually a pretty unimportant holiday for the Jewish faith. It isn’t even mentioned in the Jewish scripture. But because it is so close to Christmas and the gift giving that occurs among families celebrating that holiday, gifts have been included for children, and the festival is celebrated on a grander scale.

Menorah

To celebrate Hanukkah, the menorah, or candelabrum is used to symbolize the eight days and nights. There are actually nine candle on the menorah. The middle one, which is higher, is the service candle used to light the other eight. Each night for eight nights a candle is placed in the menorah starting with the right and moving left. (Candles are lit from left to right, though.) By the eighth night, all nine candles are burning on the menorah. The candle ceremony is complete with the reciting of specific prayers.

Food

The food during Hanukkah is often fried as this is a continued celebration of the miraculous oil. Traditional foods at Hanukkah include latkes, which are potato pancakes. Many other foods are present, but all foods must be kosher, or clean and fit, by Jewish standards. Pork, for example, is not kosher.

Presents

Presents have been added to Hanukkah to help with any jealousy children might feel toward their friends at Christmas time. The presents are not necessarily an actual part of the true festival. In many households, the presents are spread out over the eight days of the festival, which can make the whole process more drawn out and exciting, at least in my humble opinion.

Other Traditions

One other tradition at Hanukkah that is relatively well-known is the dreidel. The dreidel is a top that has four Hebrew symbols on the sides. It is spun as part of a gambling game, although money is almost never used. Instead, children play dreidel games with fake gold coins, chocolate or even paper money.

This year, Channukah will be from sunset December 4, 2007 through nightfall December 12, 2007.


Comments
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Blondie_30

23/Female
Canada
Posted On: December 1, 2007
Hello everyone!

I Love the article!

It is amazing!

-blondie
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DizzyDolls

28/Female
Pembroke Pines, FL
Posted On: December 1, 2007
Just a note, Americans spell it Santa Claus too, the person who wrote the article misspelled it.
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its_skiz_not_s

20/Female
Germany
Posted On: December 1, 2007
Boxing Day! or maybe.. Saint Nikolas night?
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Koneko_chan1

21/Female
Rockford, IL
Posted On: December 1, 2007
As Adam Sandler says, "Instead of one day of presents we get eight crazy nights!"

And how true that is!
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Izzy_zy_Rocker

20/Female
Netherlands, The
Posted On: December 1, 2007
Ramadan would be interesting to hear about too. But that's still pretty far away isn't it?

I think it was in September this year.
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CRIMESCENE_

20/Female
United Kingdom
Posted On: December 1, 2007
Really interesting. Thanks for not just thinking about Christmas, it means alot to Jewish people on here.

I celebrate Eid, which'll also be in the month of December, just before Christmas Day [WHOOH! Double celebrations!] and it lasts for four days this time. The last Eid, which was about late September, lasted only three. Depends on the moon.

I noticed something which is quite funny, really. You Americans say 'Santa Clause' but here we say 'Santa Claus.' Without the E. And, the 'Koran' is the 'Qu'ran' - I read it.

Great article, one of your best so far.

B o n e s
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never_more

22/Female
Arvada, CO
Posted On: November 30, 2007
i love learning about this kind of thing.

in third grade, my class learned about "christmas or other signifigant holidays around the world"

i got hawaii, which celebrates christmas very differently.
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DizzyDolls

28/Female
Pembroke Pines, FL
Posted On: November 30, 2007
It's wonderful to see a mention of other holidays besides Christmas. The information was accurate as well, really well done stuff?

How about Ramadan, or Kwanzaa? Perhaps Boxing Day? (I'm not sure if that last one is an actual holiday or not, anyone who knows can correct me.)
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Original_scree

23/Female
Zionsville, IN
Posted On: November 30, 2007
My dad's side of the family was Jewish.

Feels like all the Wow--Now We're Politcally Correct! TV shows feel like they have to include Hanukkah just so they don't offend anyone. I'm glad you gave it an article in its own right not to make the website look better for including all sorts, but just to let people know what a dreidel and menorah mean.

And the dolls are beautiful. ^__^

--Orii
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cornelia_weasl

24/Female
Erwin, TN
Posted On: November 30, 2007
i dont know many jewish ppl. none personally actually. but cool fried food. i'm christian. one thing that sometimes gets on my nerves is how we as christians, forget what christmas is all about. some of us only think of the presents but we still need to remeber Jesus. it offends me when ppl name their child Jesus.

please say NICE things about this article. i will get ugly if u spam.
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mraquelshaw

18/Female
Posted On: November 30, 2007
I don't know much personally about Chanukkah because I'm Christian but we learned about it a few years ago in school. I still remember playing with a dreidel for chocolate coins. A very well-written article!

Tanks a Bunches!

*mraquelshaw
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whiteskyewarri

21/Female
Canada
Posted On: November 30, 2007
lol hey kai kai! luv ya loser! lol jk

have fun with laura!
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Blondie_30

23/Female
Canada
Posted On: November 30, 2007
heyt erica, i am at lolos house! yay!
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Maddie705

20/Female
Willowick, OH
Posted On: November 30, 2007
Wow!

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H2O5

85/Female
Austria
Posted On: November 30, 2007
Cool!
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