Hanukkah Fun Facts
Hanukkah is celebrated around the world to commemorate the victory of the Macabees over Greek-Syrian oppressors. When Jews were ordered to worship Greek gods, their faith compelled them to fight back! For those not familiar with the holiday, we wanted to share a few fun facts!
22.5 million doughnuts are consumed by the Jewish people during Hanukkah, that’s 9.8 billion calories and 5.3 million new gym memberships sold across the United States!
The Hanukkah Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum, but did you know that 44 candles are burned in total? One candle is added every night, plus the “shamash” which is the middle helper candle.
In Jerusalem, you will find a giant Menorah outside the Aish HaTorah- it’s cost was 3 million dollars! The Menorah in the Holy Temple was gold and many people still use gold Menorahs, but this doesn’t mean yours has to be gold! In fact, if you find one at the dollar store, that will still do the trick- the meaning and the experience is what counts!
Did you know that Hanukkah has nothing to do with Christmas? In fact, Hanukkah has a correlation with education, the tradition is to persuade kids with money to learn the Torah.
Did you know that Jimmy Carter was the first American president to recognize the holiday? In 1979 he publicly spoke at a candle-lighting event. President Barack Obama not only celebrates it, but he also added Passover Seders to the White House celebrations.
Even if you’re not that familiar with the holiday, when you see dreidels you probably think about Hanukkah. The Greeks had forbidden Jews to learn the Torah, so kids would form Torah groups and when a Greek soldier would wander around, they would whip out the dreidels to make themselves look like a group of sinful gamblers instead of pious observers!
This year Hanukkah will coincide with Christmas, starting in the evening of December 24 and ending on January 1. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and cheers to the new year!