Wherever you are in the world, the Holidays are a special time of year that makes you reflect on all of the good things that surround you. From your family and friends, to travel and the ability to explore and experience new countries and cultures, these are just some of the things that we here at InterExchange Working Abroad are thankful for.
This year, Hanukkah begins in the evening of Saturday, December 8th, and ends in the evening of December 16th. Also called The Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates a great miracle that happened in Jerusalem during biblical times.
The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and needed extensive repairs. Oil was needed to light the "menorah" (candelabra) each night. However there was only enough oil to last them one night. Incredibly, the oil lasted 8 nights, lighting the temple for enough time to get more oil. Jewish people around the world now celebrate Hanukkah each year to remember this miracle.
Jewish families and friends (and maybe non-Jewish family and friends too!) gather in December to light the Hanukkiya and exchange presents to celebrate the holiday. Other traditions include making "latkas", potato pancakes cooked in oil, and playing dreidel. Dreidel is a spinning top game where you make different bets depending on which side of the dreidel you land on. You can do nothing, add to, take half, or take all of the pot. The winner at the end of the game traditionally is given "gelt" or chocolate coins as a prize.
To learn more about the rules of Dreidel visit:http://www.kveller.com/activities/Holidays/how-to-play-dreidel.shtml