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Ideas for Celebrating Hanukkah

The Festival of Lights: December 8th to December 16th, 2012

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Hanukkah is the eight-day Festival of Lights and starts on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is in late November - December on the secular calendar. Hanukkah begins in the evening of Saturday, December 8, 2012, and ends in the evening of Sunday, December 16, 2012. It celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, purity over adulteration, and spirituality over materiality.

In addition to lighting a Hanukkah Menorah, customs include eating foods fried in oil, playing with a dreidel and giving Chanukah gelt coins to children.

We've assembled information on the holiday, its history and traditions, along with memorable ways to celebrate with your family, friends and community.

Source:Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center

Traditions of Hanukkah

picture of lighted hanukkah menorah
Photo © Lisa Katz

You may know what a menorah is, but did you know that those letters inscribed on the dreidel -- a spinning top -- are the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hei and shin:"a great miracle happened there?"

To help guide you through the holiday:

Planning a Hanukkah Celebration

picture of adam sandler chanukah song 8 crazy nights
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber

Hanukkah Decorating Ideas

picture of hanukkah bush from treetopia
Photo courtesy of Treetopia

Hanukkah Crafts and Activities

picture of hanukkah box craft
Photo © About.com

Hanukkah for Children

picture of child with hanukkah sign
http://www.flickr.com/photos/teckelcar

Hanukkah Recipes and Menus

rugelach cookies picture
Photo © Flickr Soundless_Space

Because oil was an important part of the Hanukkah miracle, many traditional recipes involve foods fried in oil, like latkes and jelly doughnuts. During the eight nights of Hanukkah, Sephardic residents of Jerusalem customarily arrange communal meals. It is traditional for friends who argued during the year to make amends at these special meals.

Images of Hanukkah

picture of cat dressed for hanukkah
Photo © Taylor Black

Celebrating Hanukkah Around the World

arnold schwarzenegger with giant menorah
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Global Events Search: Find a Hanukkah celebration near you, courtesy of Chabad.org

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