Wednesday, December 10, 2014

8 FUN Pieces Of Hanukkah Trivia - How Many Do YOU Know?

Lost in the midst of “all-things-Christmas” is the fact that Hanukkah is almost here.  Okay, so Hanukkah isn't as big a holiday for Jews as Christmas is for Christians, but it's still a celebration.  Since mine is an interfaith family and I am not the Jewish parent, I try to add my own spin to the traditional festivities. One way is finding trivia about this holiday and sharing it with my husband and the kids.  So I now I'd like to share with you: 

8 Little-Known Facts about Hanukkah
My family's menorah. 
See how many of these questions YOU can answer without looking!

What does the word, Hanukkah, mean?

Re-dedication. It refers to the Second Temple which was reclaimed by the Maccabees.

What did kids in Yemen go from house to house collecting?

Wicks for the menorah.

Why are children given money and presents during the holiday?

Traditionally, it was to reward them for their Torah studies.

Which nation ruled over Israel at the time of the Hanukkah story?


Why was the Second Temple re-dedicated?

Because Seleucid, king of Syria, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, had defiled the temple by having an altar to Zeus placed there. 

Why do families eat latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly doughnuts) during the festivities?

Because they're fried in oil which commemorates the miracle of the oil.

What chant is traditionally sung as the Menorah is being lit?

Hanerot Hallalu.

Why is the dreidel a symbol of Hanukkah? (I LOVE this one!)

During the Syrian-Greek decrees against the Jewish people, one of the many things banned was the study of Torah. Still, the Jews continued secretly teaching and studying the Torah. When a Greek soldier appeared, they'd hide their books and pull out tops and play with their children. Written on the sides of the dreidel are the letters nun, gimmel, heh, and shin, which represent the words nes gadol haya sham, for “A great miracle happened there.” 

So that's why the dreidel is a symbol of Hanukkah!

I love acknowledging and celebrating my husband's Jewish traditions with my kids. It's important for children to know where their parents came from and it's been fascinating for me to learn about Judiasm and Jewish culture. I'm looking forward to taking out the menorah and celebrating Hanukkah with my family next week. And you can bet I'll be sharing the trivia above with them as we eat our latkes! 

Thank you for reading and Happy Hanukkah! 


Sources for this post included:,,, and

1 comment:

  1. Very neat! I just put up a Chanukah post & it was so funny - I didn't even realize I had put up eight questions until afterward! I had to go back & change the title. :-)


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