Celebrations abound during Hanukkah

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By Stella Wolfe – Grade 8

it’s that time of the year again, Christmas season. A joyous time in December when many families are busy buying gifts for each other, listening to cheerful Christmas carols and decorating large, bright Christmas trees. Well, around this time, a holiday less known is being celebrated in East Providence and around the world. This holiday is known as Hanukkah, celebrated by Jewish people.

Hanukkah lasts 8 days, and this year begins on December 6th and ends on December 14th. Hanukkah is the celebration of the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after its recapture from the Greeks. To some, it the celebration of the human spirit and a time to rejoice. The word “Hanukkah” is the Hebrew word for dedication. Traditional activities done to celebrate Hanukkah are singing, playing games, eating food, giving gifts, telling stories and of course, the lighting of the Menorah. A Menorah is sort of the christmas tree of Hanukkah, meaning that it is the symbol of celebration during the holiday. On the menorah there are nine candles, one for each night of Hanukkah and one in the center called the Shamash which is used to light the other 8 candles. The process of lighting the Menorah goes on for all of the 8 days of Hanukkah, one candle lit on the first day, two on the second and so on. On each day, none of the candles are blown out but are rather let to burn down until the entire candle has melted. Traditionally, a prayer in Hebrew is spoken while the candles are being lit each night.

Even though it is much less celebrated than Christmas in our community, Hanukkah is just as important to some as Christmas is to others. Happy Hanukkah to the members of the MMS community who are celebrating this joyous holiday!

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