The winter air is filled with excitement as Christmas day gets closer and closer. Students anxiously count down the days until break, impatiently awaiting the freedom and lack of school-related stress that comes with it.
The world gets so caught up in the spirit of Christmas that most people forget Christmas is not the only holiday celebrated during this time. There are various other holidays that occur during the season, including Hanukkah.
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated during November or December depending on the Hebrew calendar. This year, Hanukkah began on Tuesday, December 16. The holiday lasts for eight days and eight nights; each night a candle is lit on the menorah representing the miracle of that day until all eight are lit on the last day.
Every family celebrates the holiday differently; receiving gifts, for example, is not traditionally part of the celebration, however, some families choose to exchange gifts each night.
“Every night we light the menorah, say the blessings, eat dinner together and open presents while the candles are still burning,” said Jillian Horowitz, senior. “Each year we have a Hanukkah party with friends and family. My mom makes the traditional potato pancakes (latkes), we light the menorah and we hand out presents to our guests.”
Due to the excess commercialization of the Christian Christmas holiday, Hanukkah does not receive much attention here in the United States and most people tend to forget that there are other holidays celebrated during this joyful season.