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.
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

1182
Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.

4125
flickr

Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.

4663
Unsplash

By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

4833
Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them
    Featured

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

    3361
    WikiMedia

    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments