Hanukkah Holiday Traditions

Nov 27, 2023

Hanukkah is drawing closer and so is the time for joy, celebrations, and time spent with one’s closest people. But what exactly is Hanukkah? Is this famous Jewish festival celebrated? In this post, we’ll talk about the meaning of these celebrations, its most important traditions and their meaning, and we’ll also talk about creative ways to decorate your home in preparation for the so-called Festival of Lights. 
Lightning The Menorah Image

Lightning The Menorah Image

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is one of the most important Jewish celebrations, and it takes place in the winter months. It lasts for eight days and nights, but the exact dates are different every year. The festival commemorates the miracle of a small amount of oil that burned for eight days during the Maccabean Revolt, when the Temple in Jerusalem was reclaimed. The celebration is a joyous and beloved event with very deep traditions, such as the lighting of the Menorah, the dreidel games, gift-giving, and more.

Lighting of the Menorah

The Menorah is a special candelabrum that has nine branches. The candle in the middle, called the shamash, is used to light the other eight candles. Each night during the eight days of the festival, a single new candle is lit so that by the celebration’s end, all nine are illuminated. This tradition is at the core of Hanukkah: people frequently gather around the shamash and recite prayers and sing traditional songs.

If you are a person who celebrates Hanukkah every year, you certainly have a menorah at home and if you want to enhance the festive atmosphere for this year’s celebrations, an interesting idea is to decorate the menorah with blue and white flowers. Blue and white are the traditional colors of Hanukkah and there are many types of flowers that come in those colors. For instance, you can tie blue and white roses to the base of the menorah, or you can place the menorah in a bed of delicate blue and white hydrangea blooms. In this way, you will make your home even more inviting to your friends and relatives who come to celebrate this beautiful festival.

Dreidel games

The dreidel is a spinning top with four sides and playing games with it is another part of the Hanukkah tradition. Each side of the top has a letter and what letter a player gets determines the outcome of their turn. The game is supposed to be a friendly competition, where the players compete for chocolate coins or the so-called “gelt”. Depending on what letter a player gets from the dreidel, they could get the whole pot of coins, get half of the pot, do nothing, or contribute to the pot. Though the game is most commonly played by children, anyone could join, as the dreidel tradition is all about fostering a sense of togetherness, community, and celebration.

Hanukkah culinary traditions

As is with most important celebrations across different religions and cultures, food also plays an important role during Hanukkah. Since Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil that burned for eight days and nights, a lot of the foods prepared for it are fried. Some traditional Hanukkah foods are the latkes, a type of fried potato pancakes, and the sufganiyot - round doughnuts filled with delicious jelly. These are only two examples of the many types of tasty foods served during Hanukkah celebrations.

Of course, food is nothing without the happiness of gathering around the table to eat it together with your closest people - your friends and relatives. And to make those closest to you feel special and welcome into your home, you can add the extra touch of decorating your dinner table with the Hanukkah colors. One simple, yet tasteful, suggestion here is to have a blue hydrangea flower blooms placed in mini vases for each place sitting. It might not seem like much to you, but trust us, your guests will notice it, and it will make them feel even more joyous and appreciated.

Hanukkah Gifts

Gifting presents to friends, family members, and relatives is another big part of Hanukkah and what’s interesting here is that it’s not strictly a religious tradition associated with this celebration, but rather a practice that has evolved over time, likely influenced by the frequent overlapping of Hanukkah and Christmas.

Another interesting part of the Hanukkah gift-giving is that, in many families, it is done for the entire duration of the festival. Each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, children are gifted small gifts, such as chocolate coins, clothes, toys, and more. Here, it really depends on how each individual family celebrates Hanukkah. In some cases, the gifting of presents is even incorporated into the dreidel games.

As we said, you aren’t limited to specific types of gifts during Hanukkah, so it’s really up to you to decide what you want to get for your closest people. And while kids may enjoy toys and sweet treats, if you want to surprise an adult with a nice Hanukkah present, one unusual but very tasteful gift could be an elegant blue flowers arrangement. It’s a great present for a person’s mother, sister, wife, or daughter, and it’s certain to pleasantly surprise the receiver, since Hanukkah presents are rarely flowers, yet a flower gift is a perfect gesture of love, appreciation, and gratitude.


Even though Hanukkah is an ancient celebration that has likely changed a lot during the many ages since it first started being celebrated, it’s still one of the most cherished Jewish festivals today and a lot of its traditions have been preserved throughout the years. From the nine candles on the menorah, to the spinning dreidel enjoyed by children and adults alike, to the various types of traditional cuisine, these are all symbols of a beautiful occasion - the celebration of the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and the oil that lasted for eight days. And with the more modern tradition of giving gifts on each of the eight nights, Hanukkah is truly a great time to decorate your home, invite your family and friends, and to celebrate The Festival of Lights.

Author: Mattew Albans
Mattew Albans
 ✍🏻 Content Developer for TodayFlowerDelivery since 2021
🎓 Master in Digital Marketing 
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