Hanukkah Quick Facts - NL

AKA NameFestival of lights, Chanoeka - Begin
HashtagsCompiled on#Hanukkah
Related Hashtags#HappyHanukkah, #Chanukah
2023 Date7 December 2023
2024 Date25 December 2024


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Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is an eight-day Jewish festival celebrated worldwide. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt, which took place in the 2nd century BCE. The Observance focuses on the miracle of the oil, as a single day's supply of oil lasted for eight days in the Temple's menorah (a seven-branched candelabrum). This miracle is the basis for many of the customs and traditions associated with the holiday, including the lighting of the menorah, the recitation of blessings, and the consumption of oil-based foods.

There is a rich historical connection between the Jewish community and the Netherlands. The Dutch Republic was home to one of the largest and most significant Jewish communities in Europe, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Dutch Jewish community has greatly contributed to various aspects of Dutch culture, including literature, science, and philosophy. Hanukkah thus holds a special significance for the Dutch Jewish community as the festival provides an opportunity to both recall their unique historical legacy and preserve their cultural heritage in the contemporary Dutch society.

In the Netherlands, Hanukkah is celebrated in much the same way it is in other parts of the world. Families gather to light the menorah each night, adding a candle or oil lamp for each of the eight nights, while reciting prayers and enjoying traditional treats such as fried potato latkes (pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). Public menorah lighting ceremonies can also be found in major Dutch cities, notably in Amsterdam's Dam Square. Hanukkah's dates vary each year according to the Hebrew calendar, ranging from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Hanukkah -


Hanukkah facts

  • It is customary to eat fried foods on Chanukkah because of the significance of oil to the holiday. Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) and doughnuts.
  • A popular game during Hanukkah is dreidel. The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with one Hebrew letter inscribed on each face/side. These letters are Nun (like N), Gimel (like G), Hei (Like H) and Shin (like Sh). These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.
  • Besides its religious significance, Hanukkah also acquired a local meaning for Dutch Jews in the 16th and 17th centuries. They identified the story of the Maccabees with their own struggle for independence from Spain during the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648), symbolizing another victory of the few against the powerful oppressor.
  • Dutch Jewish cuisine during Hanukkah is a blend of local and traditional flavors. Some of the most popular Hanukkah foods in the Netherlands include oliebollen (deep-fried dough balls covered with powdered sugar) and latkes (potato pancakes).

Top things to do in Netherlands for Hanukkah

  • Play a dreidel game, which consists of spinning a special four-sided block with Hebrew letters. Once you're out of game pieces, you can either get a loan or you're out until one person collects all of the game pieces.
  • Make latkes and donuts at home. Many recipes can be found online.
  • Indulge in traditional Hanukkah treats like sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancakes). You can find these specialties in Jewish bakeries or even try making them at home.
  • Hanukkah is a time of giving and spreading light. Consider volunteering at community centers, organizations, or charities that are actively involved in helping others during the holiday season.

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