Happy Hanukkah: Recipe, Traditions, and Holiday Wishes

The Festival of Lights is the celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. It also commemorates the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days, hence the eight days of Hanukkah. To commemorate this miracle, we eat “oily” foods on Chanukah, like fried potato pancakes called “Latkes” and deep-fried doughnuts called Sufganiyot.

Here’s my favorite recipe for potato latkes from a cookbook my grandmother gave me many years ago.  This year I’m trying yam potatoes to add a twist to the traditional potato latkes.  Top with sour cream or applesauce and they’ll be a big hit in your home!

Hanukkah is not an important religious holiday, actually the lighting of the candles is the only religious observance related to the holiday.  The menorah holds nine candles, each candle represents one night of Hanukkah and the middle candle, which is called the shammus is used to light each individual candle each night.  We light the candles from right to left like the Hebrew language.

Playing dreidel is one of our favorite traditions during Hanukkah.  The dreidel has a Hebrew letter on each side: Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin.  These letters stand for a Hebrew phrase meaning “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham”.  Translated into English, it means “A great miracle happened there”. The miracle refers to the miracle of the oil.  In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels has the letter pei on it.  Nun, Gimel, Hei, and Pei means “Nes Gadol Hayah Poh”, and translated into English that means “A great miracle happened here”.

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate! 

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  1. Thank you for shedding light on these traditions, Lori!

    Happy Hanukkah to you and yours :-).

  2. Cynthia Williams says:

    Hey Lori, Thanks for the great Recipes. Thanks for sharing of yourself with us! Happy Hanakkah to you and your family from the Williams Girls!

  3. Happy New Year to you Lori! Wishing you the best for 2012.

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