Get ready to celebrate this season with these fun Hanukkah facts for kids!
Fun Facts About HanukkaH
Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a well-known Jewish holiday. It is an eight-day observance of the miracle that took place in the Holy Temple many years ago.
During this holiday, there are daily candle lightings, special blessings, and delicious fried foods. What else can we learn about this popular Jewish celebration? Discover more fun Hanukkah facts below!
Hanukkah Facts for Kids
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights.
One candle is lit every night for eight days to commemorate how long the Holy Temple stayed lit for rededication.
Despite the fact that there was only enough oil to keep the candle burning for just one night, it miraculously illuminated the Temple for eight whole nights!
Presents weren’t always given during Hanukkah.
Traditionally, money was given to children during Hanukkah as an incentive to study the Torah.
However, the growing popularity of gift-giving over the Christmas holiday led to the transition from monetary gifts to other types of presents.
The dreidel was invented as a distraction.
There was a time when Judaism had been outlawed in Ancient Greece. In order to still be able to study the Torah without being caught, children would secretly learn while playing the dreidel “game” by spinning the top and winning gelt (coins).
Most traditional Hanukkah foods are fried.
In honor of the oil that burned for an incredible eight nights in the Temple, traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil.
Some popular dishes include latkes, apple fritters, kugel, and more. In fact, about 17.5 million sufganiyots (fried jelly doughnuts) are eaten each year in Israel during Hanukkah.
The dreidel is Yiddish.
Dreidel comes from the Yiddish word ‘drei’ which means to turn or to spin. These popular spinning tops each have four sides with a Hebrew letter: Nun, Gimel, Hay and Peh (Shin). Together the letters on the dreidel mean, “A great miracle happened here (there)”.
There are about 16 different ways to spell Hanukkah.
Because the word Hanukkah is translated from Hebrew letters, there is no right or wrong way to spell it in English. The most common spellings found are Hanukkah and Chanukah, but any way is the correct way!
The Menorah is actually a Hanukkiyah.
We all know the holiday candelabra used during Hanukkah as a Menorah. However, it is actually called a Hanukkiyah.
A menorah is a seven-branched candelabra used in synagogues, while the Hanukkiyah is the nine-branched candelabra that is lit each night of Hanukkah.
The largest Menorah (Hanukkiyah) in the world is in New York.
Standing tall at 32 feet high and weighing in at 4,000 pounds, the largest hanukkiyah can be found at Grand Army Plaza in New York.
Fun Hanukkah Facts for Kids
With the Festival of Lights fast approaching, sharing these fun facts will surely keep the Hanukkah tradition alive. From making and eating scrumptious sufganiyots to spinning the dreidel, this year’s Hanukkah celebration will be nothing less than extraordinary!