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  • Azize Ozyurek-Baer


On Chanukah, an eight-day-long Jewish festival of light, a menorah (a nine-branched candle holder) is lit every evening (after sundown) for eight consecutive days . There are many traditional things to do, and here are a few of my favourites:


Chanukah songs range from slower, more serious ones to faster, cheerier ones. We sing them in different languages; Hebrew, English, a bit of Ladino and Yiddish.

Playing Dreidel

Dreidel is a Chanukah game where dreidels (which look a bit like tops, but with four sides with a Hebrew letter each) are spun, and according to which side is on top, you get an object from the middle. Raisins, coins etc. can be used, but we always use chocolate coins, which have the bonus that you can eat them after the game! Mastering spinning the dreidel takes some practice, but is easily learned and fun.

Fried Food

As it is a festival of oil, Chanukah food is traditionally fried in oil. Latkes (potato fritters) are very common, served with soured cream and apple sauce. Done right, they are lovely and crisp, and go well with the aforementioned apple sauce, especially since the apple sauce is sweet and the latke savoury.

Another fried Chanukah treat are doughnuts. Because they are easily bought and seem tricky to make, not many people make their own, but actually they are not as difficult as you may think, just time-consuming. If you have lots of time on your hands, they’re a fun activity to make. There are many different kinds of doughnuts, and by making your own, you can choose yourself how sweet you want them to be, if they have a hole in the middle or are filled, what flavourings they should have etc. Or even invent a new flavour combination for a doughnut!

"Latkes" by Seph Swain is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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