Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, is celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev for 8 days between late November and December. The dates, however, change every year according to the Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew Calendar is based on the movement of both the sun and the moon as it is lunisolar, hence the annual date changes.
The word Hanukkah is derived from the Hebrew language, and it means rededication. Hanukkah is celebrated for the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian army. There are many ways to celebrate this holiday in which you and your family can learn a lot about the Jewish culture.
In Brooklyn, Hanukkah is usually celebrated in the form of Menorah Lighting, musical performances, and of course, great food!
Where in Brooklyn?
Hanukkah celebrations usually take place at Prospect Park West and Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights. It is open to all ages so you can have a great time with your family.
Customs and Rituals
There are a few customs and rituals that are followed during Hanukkah, such as blessings and candle lighting. Any member of the Hanukkah family can chant or recite the blessings. One person is required to hold up the Menorah with candles, which is a holy symbol for Hanukkah. The candles are lit in a left to right direction while the blessings are being chanted. There are two blessings that are chanted every night of Hanukkah. The first blessing is for the candles, and the second blessing represents the miracle of deliverance. There is also a third blessing that is chanted on the first night of Hanukkah, which is for marking happy and festive occasions for the Jews.
What Do The Rituals Represent?
Menorah is a Hebrew word which means candelabrum. There are 9 branches on the candle lamp in total in which candles are placed and blessed on every night of Hanukkah. The last extra branch which is known as Shamash, meaning helper, is used to light up the other candles.
The word Dreidel comes from German, which means “spinning top.” The spinning top is a toy that is used in Hanukkah games. The game has its roots buried in ancient Germany and is known to have been adopted from a gambling game.
During Hanukkah, Latkes, which are also known as potato pancakes, and Sufganiyot, which are known as jelly donuts, are traditionally cooked and widely enjoyed by families.
Hanukkah is an auspicious occasion for everyone. You can feel the air filled with joy and love. Hanukkah in Brooklyn is celebrated with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. It is enjoyed by everyone and offers a great learning opportunity for young kids to understand their culture.