After lighting the candles the family then sings or chants this beautiful song called Ma-oz Tzur. It’s English equivalent is Rock of Ages. That is the song you are listening to now.
A traditional food that the Jews eat on Hanukkah are potato latkes (potato pancakes) and fried jelly donuts. They eat those foods because they are fried in oil and it symbolizes the oil used for the 8 nights in the Temple.
We also give gifts or gelt(money) on Hanukkah to all the children. Children also get a small gift for each night of Hanukkah or one big gift or many big gifts….LOL
Another custom on Hanukkah is playing with a dreidel. A dreidel is a child’s toy similar to a spinning top. Some of them are in two parts and inside it usually has candy or money. The children spin it and each side has a Hebrew letter on it, and each one of the letters has a different point value. The Hebrew letters are Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin standing for “Nes Gadol Haya Sham” which means “A great miracle happened there”. Whoever has the most amount of points at the end of the game wins.
One myth that people think about Hanukkah is that it is the Jewish substitute for Christmas. This is not true. While on the calendar the two holidays frequently coincide, Hanukkah commemorates an episode in Jewish history which occurred 160 years prior to the event marked by the birth of Christ. Christmas represents the birth of Christianity. Hanukkah marks the rejection of Hellenism through the revolt led by the Maccabees.
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