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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

8 crazy nights: Happy Hanukkah from Optimist

8+crazy+nights%3A+Happy+Hanukkah+from+Optimist

For eight nights, every year, Jews across the globe celebrate Hanukkah: the Festival of Lights. 

This holiday commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Every night, a candle is lit on the menorah, symbolizing each of the eight nights and days of the festival. 

The menorah is a symbol for the dedication of the fire during the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt during the second century B.C.E. This fire continued to burn for a total of eight nights due to the magic oil, now being celebrated for its perseverance. The tallest stem is the shammash, also named the “attendant” which lights all of the rest of the candles throughout the festival. 

During this celebration, there are also staple foods. Many Jews cook latkes, kugel, brisket, challah, and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). Almost all of the different delicacies are crucial to the story of Hanukkah.

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Not only are there staple foods, there are also many famous Hanukkah songs that children and families sing every year. These include “Oh Hanukkah”, “Happy Hanukkah”, “The Chanukah Song”,  and “Dreidel Dreidel.” 

Many children during the holiday play dreidel, where they compete to win as many gold coins as possible. If they get lucky, they sometimes get chocolate coins instead. 

Each night, most children receive a gift. Sometimes small, sometimes big. Although this Jewish holiday isn’t the largest or most important on the Hebrew calendar, it still has a massive attendance and a major cultural significance for many in North America. 

Every year, the date for the beginning and end of Hanukkah change, but are always in between the months of November and December and continue to symbolize the strength of the Jewish people. 

Happy Hanukkah from the Optimist Newspaper!

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