Hummus Hotline newsletter from Noam's Table catering Israeli foods
Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish celebration, begins in the evening of Sunday, Dec. 2, and ends in the evening of Monday, Dec.10, in 2018. Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.
To celebrate the holiday, Jews light one candle of the menorah each evening. The ninth candle — the shamash, or servant candle, is used to light the other eight. Each candle is lit after a special blessings is recited and then there are traditional songs sung afterwards. Menorahs are also often placed in windows to decorate for the season. Spinning tops called dreidels and exchanging gifts are other Hanukkah traditions.
But, is it Hanukkah or Chanukah? Either one is fine. In fact, there are more than a dozen variations for spelling the holiday's name in English. The differences come because some sounds in Hebrew just don't match letters in the Latin alphabet. The most common spelling is Hanukkah but both stand for a holiday of lights and love.