A Guide To Chanukah For Those Who Still Have No Clue What It Is
Start writing a post
Entertainment

A Guide To Chanukah For Those Who Still Have No Clue What It Is

Tis' the season to be Jewish.

44
A Guide To Chanukah For Those Who Still Have No Clue What It Is

It's the most wonderful time of the year where everyone prepares months in advance for Christmas. Christmas decorations are put up, Christmas trees are being bought and presents are being wrapped. While all of that is going on for the majority of the world, there are a few of us who don't actually celebrate Christmas.

*GASP* I know right like who doesn't celebrate Christmas?

Me.

I celebrate Chanukah.

"Oh the Jewish version of Christmas, right?"

Well, no not exactly.

It's the holiday that many people just really don't know how it's celebrated or even why it is celebrated. Let me educate you for a moment so that you can understand more about the holiday.

Here are some key things to know about the holiday:

Hanukkah has nothing to do with Christmas

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus. Well, Jewish people don't pray to Jesus so we wouldn't celebrate a holiday about him. Our holiday celebrates miracles that happened a long time ago. Here's the short story of Hannukah.

There was a time when Syrian-Greeks ruled the Holy Land and demanded that everyone accept the Greek way of life. They didn't want Jewish people to pray to G-d or to practice their religion. There was a huge battle where a small Jewish army miraculously defeated the big Greek army. That is the first miracle. The Greeks had destroyed the Holy Temple and when the Jews when inside to light the menorah, they only found oil that would last one night, but it actually lasted eight nights. That's the second miracle and why we celebrate the holiday for eight nights.

We don’t believe in Santa Claus

Traditionally, we do receive presents for each night of Hannukah, but we don't believe in Santa or any other kind of figure that brings us gifts. We know our parents or grandparents bought gifts.

We don’t spoil the secret about Santa

There must be some unspoken rule out there that we all agreed to not spoil the secret about Santa to kids. Even after my elementary school teacher said to my class that anyone who doesn't believe in Santa is stupid, I still never said anything.

Hanukkah is not the same time every year

We all know Christmas is December 25th every year. Hanukkah changes because it goes off of the Hebrew calendar which is based on the moon, not the sun. So for 2020, the first night of Hannukah starts on December 10. Last year it started the night of December 22. It changes each year so look at your calendar.

The name is spelled different ways

You may see it spelled Chanukah or Hannukah. Which one is correct? There really is no correct way to spell it because you are taking a Hebrew word and translating it. In Hebrew, there is a letter that makes the "ch" sound but we don't have just one letter to do that. That is why you will see it spelled with a "ch" or an "h". If you are sending someone a card or just trying to wish them a happy holiday just say "Happy Hannukah!"

We play dreidels

Dreidels are spinning tops. On each side of the top there is a letter. The four Hebrew letters are nun, gimel, hay and shin. They stand for a phrase that means a great miracle happened there referring to the miracles from the story. It's an easy game so if you are ever invited over to celebrate Chanukah, here's how to play.

You spin the dreidel and if it lands on a gimel you take everything in the pot which might be chocolate, coins, money, M&Ms or anything you want to use to play with. If it lands on a hay, you take half the pot. If it lands on a shin, you have to put one coin or piece of candy you are playing with back into the pot. If it lands on a nun, nothing happens.

We don’t get offended by Christmas or Christmas songs

I love Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" as much as the next person. They are just songs. I always found it funny when the choir, orchestra and band in schools would always play five Christmas songs and then one Hannukah song. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I won't get offended if you don't include a Hannukah song. There are not that many out there and I don't really feel like playing "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" again.

That candle holder you have seen is called a menorah

On each night, we add another candle and light them. When we do this, we sing blessings and other songs.

We still work and go to school on Hanukkah

Every school is always closed for Christmas, but like I mentioned before Hannukah changes dates every year so we really don't eight days off for the holiday. Hanukkah is not a super religious holiday. It's definitely fun and a favorite among kids, but it's not a time where we need to take off from work to celebrate.

There is no such thing as a Hannukah tree or bush

Once again, that is a tradition to celebrate Christmas, not Hanukkah.

Yes, we do eat Chinese food and go to the movies on Christmas. It’s not a joke

It's an unofficial Jewish tradition. The reason for it is because the movies are open on Christmas as well as the Chinese restaurants.

We love Adam Sandler

Go watch Eight Crazy Nights. It's an Adam Sandler animated movie and it will help you understand the holiday better and it's funny which is a bonus.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

The Boyfriends Of The 2000s

Thank you, J14, for the Posters

2367
J14 magazine

Every girl remembers her first crush. Even if your first crush was the boy in your kindergarten class that ate crayons, your first true love will always be the one that holds the key to your heart. Growing up in the 2000s, everyone knew who your dream guy was. Your family probably still give you grief and your best friends probably still reminisce, so it is impossible to forget your first celebrity crush. You bought a Tiger Beat magazine every chance you could just to read up about what your favorite celebrity was doing. Your room was fully decorated with posters of them, and it wasn't unusual to have fights with your best friends over who was going to marry him. If you were a 90's baby, lucky you because the 2000s were full of boys that were easy to love. I hope you enjoy a walk down memory lane and quickly realize that Bieber was definitely not the first guy with that hair cut. Here are 15 90's baby's first boyfriends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

20 Things I Learned By The Start of My 20s

No one expects you to have your life together by the time you're 20, because honestly, they didn't either.

13764
Allyson Foutty

We are all often faced with many life challenges throughout the time leading up to our 20s. Before this time, and throughout it, we often look back at the things we've learned and how they've influenced who we are as people today. Some of my biggest influences were some of the challenges I've faced, but they've taught me 20 important things by the start of my 20s.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriend Recipe

The ingredients to build a relationship are a little more complicated than just a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

11236

Relationships. Long distance or not, significant others are much more than just that. I would be lying if I said I did not love the sweet gestures that only a boyfriend can give. The flowers, funny phone calls, hand holding, breakfast dates, and tight hugs are special but my relationship and many others out there exist on much more than just these little gestures. It is a tricky concoction that consists of one part boyfriend and two parts best friend and would not work without one part or the other. While having a relationship may not be quite as easy as baking a batch of cookies, it has its own recipe (with a few variations for flavor) to follow for a good match.

Keep Reading... Show less
google images

Fashion just keeps growing and changing and old trends are made new! Now, I'm no beauty guru, just a beauty guru wannabe, but personally I have compiled some stylish wardrobe must haves! These can be cute assets to go back to school or just to catch up on some of the latest trends...

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

There's More To A Relationship Than Netflix

Summertime is only 93 days of the year, Find something to do!

10209
Tallie Ammar

Summertime is ideal for more than just hanging out and binging your favorite TV series with your friends. Although summer does bring rain and thunderstorms which is perfect for those binging days, take advantage of those nice and sunny days. There is so many opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy the season before the snow starts to come back. Here are 25 interesting dates that are doable almost anywhere for any age.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments