Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a festival observed by the Jewish community. It is one of the holidays that is observed during the winter season. Since winter is coming, let’s learn about this holiday.

Table of Content

Hanukkah Definition & Meaning

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that celebrates the recovery of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple during the start of the Maccabean revolt in 2 BCE.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated during the winter season and is often celebrated around the same time as the Christmas season.

When Is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah generally takes place during the winter season or late fall depending on the alignment with the Hebrew calendar. According to the calendar, Hanukkah begins at the start of the 25 Kislev and ends on the 2nd or 3rd Tevet, which means this holiday is celebrated by the Jewish community for around 8 days.

Hanukkah History

The origins of Hanukkah are an interesting story and one that is definitely worth learning. This all took place during what was known as the Second Temple period in the 2nd century BCE. Here are some of the key details regarding the background of Hanukkah and why it is celebrated differently in modern times.

Outlaw of Judaism

When the reign of Antiochus IV started in 167 BC, he outlawed Judaism and forced the Jews to worship Greek gods instead. Jerusalem was invaded by Antiochus IV’s army and the Jewish Temple was desecrated.

The Revolt

An uprising occurred against King Antiochus IV led by Jewish Priest Matthias and his five sons. They were known as the Maccabees (Hebrew for ‘hammer’). Antiochus IV lost a series of battles, losing control over Jerusalem, and allowing the Jews to regain the Temple.

The First Celebration

They repaired the temple and performed a rededication ceremony, where the first menorah was lit. Despite the lack of oil, it burned for eight nights which they all believed was a miracle. The origins of Hanukkah. Eventually, in 142 BC, Antiochus IV was succeeded by Demetrius who granted the Jews their independence.

Recordings

A Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus writes down the origins sometime in 86 AD. He called this event the Festival of Lights.

Officially Named

The oral laws of Judaism were put into writing and that’s where the Festival of Lights was called Hanukkah which means ‘dedication’.

Modern Times

Around the 1920s, Hanukkah became an important holiday for the Jewish community in North America. They observed the Festival of Lights by lighting the menorah, serving traditional foods, and playing games. It is now a festival used to remember history, celebrate family, and a way for the Jewish community to maintain their distinction among others.

Hanukkah Purpose and Importance

A lot of members of the Jewish community observe and celebrate Hanukkah as it is a Jewish holiday where everyone else outside the faith is welcome to join and celebrate.

Reaffirm One’s Identity

For a lot of members of the Jewish community, their religion is a big part of their identity. Celebrating Hanukkah allows practicing Jews to reaffirm their connection with this culture.

Celebrate Family

Jewish culture places a lot of emphasis on familial love. Hanukkah is a festival that gives Jewish families a reason to celebrate and bond together by making happy memories.

Observe History

With the animated history of Hanukkah’s origins that colors the fate of Jewish society, it is important for them to remember and observe its events so that no one may ever forget the time when their ancestors faced a huge challenge to their way of life.

Remember Hope

The story of how Hanukkah began, shows how standing up to challenges and having hope will always be rewarded with happiness. That is why the Jewish community observes this festival, as a way to celebrate hope.

What’s in a Hanukkah?

On Hanukkah, the Jewish community celebrates by lighting the menorah, playing the game of dreidel, and eating special holiday foods. There are usually social gatherings organized during this holiday as well. In spite of its serious origins, modern-day Hanukkah is a happy occasion and is widely celebrated by most of the Jewish community.

How to Create a Hanukkah Social Media Post

As Hanukkah is a festival in which everyone is welcome to celebrate, promoting the Festival of Lights is a fun thing to do on Social Media. You can also use these posts to remind fellow Jews in observing this important event in your collective history. Get started by creating Hanukkah social media post draft with the help of these guides.

Facebook

1. Choose a Hanukkah Facebook Post Template.

screenshot-2022-08-23-9

We have several options for Hanukkah Facebook post templates with lovely designs that fit the festive theme. Click on your chosen template.

2. Add your custom Hanukkah message on Fill.

screenshot-2022-08-23-9

On the Editor page, head to the Fill option, and under Fill Text, you can add your custom Hanukkah greeting. Try to keep it short and simple.

3. Add graphic designs.

screenshot-2022-08-23-9

Head to the Graphics panel to add more graphic designs to the template if you prefer. You can add clipart, shapes, and other graphics. Make sure that they match the post’s aesthetic.

4. Insert Hanukkah photos.

screenshot-2022-08-23-10

Next, go to the Photos panel and search for Hanukkah-related photos under Unsplash or Pixabay. You can insert one by clicking on your chosen photo.

5. Save and download your template.

screenshot-2022-08-23-10

When you’ve finished, download the template. Head to the upper right corner of the screen and click the three-dotted icon and select Download. Then you upload the template to Facebook.

Instagram

1. Select the Hanukkah Template.

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

Pick a Hanukkah Template with designs that will compliment your Instagram feed.

2. Add images related to Hanukkah.

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

On the right side of the Editor tool, you’ll find the Photos panel. Click it, and search for Hanukkah photos either on Unsplash or Pixabay. Browse the images shown and choose the one that fits your Hanukkah Instagram post.

3. Write a unique Hanukkah message.

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

While the template has a default greeting, you can change it by going to the Fill panel. On the boxes under Fill Text, you can change the text to your own Hanukkah greeting.

4. Add custom graphics.

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

If you want to add graphic designs then go to the Graphics panel. Browse for clipart or visuals that relate to Hanukkah.

5. Save the template.

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

Once you’re finished click the three-dotted icon in the upper right corner and select the Save button. You can now go and upload your template to Instagram.

Hanukkah Facts

Here are some facts you should remember about Hanukkah.

  • The menorah isn’t just one of the symbols of Hanukkah but also a reference to the miracle of how the menorah stays lit for 8 days despite just having enough oil to keep it burning for a day, which is why the festival lasts for 8 days.
  • A menorah candle is lit on each night of the holiday.
  • Gift giving was not originally a part of Hanukkah especially back in the old days. It used to be that money is given, but then as Christmas popularized gift-giving, it changed to that custom instead.
  • Hanukkah dishes are fried or cooked in oil, specifically as it symbolizes the miracle oil that burned the menorah for 8 nights straight.
  • The biggest menorah in the world is 32 feet high and 4,000 pounds and is located at Grand Army Plaza in New York.
  • While Hanukkah is a festival widely celebrated, the Jewish holidays of Passover and Rosh Hashanah are much more significant in the religion.
  • Hanukkah celebrations are often held in virtual meetings when families are far from each other.

Hanukkah vs. Christmas

Hanukah is an 8-day festival celebrated by the Jewish community with the dates varying according to the Hebrew Calendar.

Christmas is a day that Christians celebrate for a day which is on the 25th of December when they commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of their religion.

Hanukkah Ideas & Examples

Hanukkah is a tradition where the Jewish community can get together and commemorate an important event in their history. There are a lot of activities one can do to observe the customs of this festival. Here are some examples of what you can do during the Festival of Light:

Hanukkah Ideas

Here are some activities you can do to observe Hanukkah:

  • Lighting the Hanukkah menorah, the nine-pronged candles, one for each night.
  • Play Hanukkah music, with popular songs like “Ner Li, Ner Li” (“I have a Candle”), “Hanukkiah Li Yesh” (“I Have a Hanukkah Menorah”), “Mi Yimalel” (“Who can Retell”), “S’vivon Sov Sov Sov” (“Dreidel, Spin, and Spin”), and “Haneirot Halolu” (“These Candles which we light”).
  • Prepare recipes fried or baked in oil (preferably olive oil) such as latkes and fried potato fritter.
  • Throw a party where meals are served.
  • Play games using dreidels.
  • Baking pastries like sufganiyot and cookies.
  • Exchange gifts with family such as DIY crafts, cute cards, games, books, etc.
  • Share and enjoy Hanukkah gelt, a type of chocolate that is wrapped in gold foil to look like gold coins.
  • Recite the Hallel prayer.
  • Share stories, poems, quotes, facts, and messages about the importance of Hanukkah to young/new members of the Jewish community.

Hanukkah Examples

Check the visually beautiful Hanukkah examples we’ve presented below for inspiration for your own Hanukkah greetings, messages, flyers, posters, and social media posts.

1. Funny Hanukkah Youtube Banner Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

2. Free First Hanukkah Card Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

3. Hanukkah Sale Flyer Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

4. Hanukkah Party Flyer

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

5. Free Happy Hanukkah Elements Vector

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

6. Free Hanukkah Border Vector

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

7. Hanukkah Dinner Instagram Story Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

8. Happy Hanukkah Instagram Story Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

9. Hanukkah Celebration Snapchat Geofilter Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

10. Hanukkah Festival Snapchat Geofilter Template

screenshot-2022-08-23-11

FAQs

What is Hanukkah and why is it celebrated?

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that lasts for 8 days and it is celebrated to commemorate the miracle of the menorah lighting for 8 days despite lacking enough oil to keep it burning in the Temple.

What plants are in Hanukkah?

The traditional Hanukkah flower is the lily flower and it is included in any Hanukkah bouquet, which you may also send to someone else for eight days.

Does Hanukkah have ornaments?

As most traditions involve decor and ornaments, so does Hanukkah with the notable one being the menorah, complete with nine candles.

What color are Hanukkah flowers?

Hanukkah flowers come in blue and white, the more popular and traditional holiday colors.

When did the tradition of Hanukkah start?

The tradition of Hanukkah started around the second century BCE, specifically in 164 BCE.

Who invented Hanukkah?

While the origins of Hanukkah were 2 centuries before the common era, it was officially considered a festival by Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus when he recorded the events of the rededication of the Jewish Temple.

What is the story behind Hanukkah?

When the Jewish people led a revolt against King Antiochus IV for outlawing Judaism and invading Jerusalem, they were able to retake the city and cleanse the Temple.

How did Hanukkah get started?

Hanukkah was started when historian Titus Flavius Josephus coined the event of the Jews retaking their Temple as the Festival of Lights.

What does Hanukkah celebrate?

Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish people’s rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after winning a series of battles against the monarchy of Antiochus IV.

Who destroyed the temple of Hanukkah?

The Second Temple was destroyed by King Antiochus IV when he invaded Jerusalem after outlawing Judaism during his reign, which led to the origins of Hanukkah.

Why is Hanukkah blue and white?

Blue and white are significant colors because it is said that God told the Jews to wear blue cords to the fringes or tzitzit, of their clothing which was made of white threads.

Where is Hanukkah originally from?

The festival of Hanukkah originated in Jerusalem, as it commemorates a historical event that took place there.

What are the Hanukkah candles?

The Hanukkah candles are known as the menorah, which has eight branches for eight other candles.

What is a symbol for Hanukkah?

The famous symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah, the eight branches candle whose name is the Hebrew word for lamp.