However You Spell it, Hanukkah Brings Joy, Tradition & Presents

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However You Spell it, Hanukkah Brings Joy, Tradition & Presents

David-Jared Matthews, Reporter

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NEWSROOM- Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is observed for eight days.  Despite its cultural relevance, many don’t know why it is celebrated.

Hanukkah, sometimes spelled with the “phonetic” C-H [Chanukkah] and with a variety of N’s and K’s and sometimes with a silent “H” at the end, is the most well-known, yet arguably least important holiday in modern Judaism.  Still it gets a ‘cameo’ thanks to Christmas, and observers of the holiday aren’t complaining.

The story of Hanukkah has been passed down for generations by those who observe Jewish holidays.  The story goes that the Holy Land was taken by Greeks, who restricted the learning of the Torah (Jewish Holy Book).  The Maccabees (Jewish warriors of the 1st BCE) defeated the Greeks and found the miracles of oil.  The oil was only supposed to burn for one day, but it burned for eight; hence the eight days of Hanukkah.  The story of Hanukkah took place during a very dark time for Jewish people, but they were able to fight for what they believed in and found a light.

During Hanukkah celebrations, families light the menorah adding a candle each day.   Songs are played, Latkes are eaten and dreidels are spun.  Observants receive presents on each of the eight days of the holiday.

As many in the Stanwich community don’t observe or know much about the holiday, students who celebrate Hanukkah were asked what their family does to commemorate the celebration of lights.

Stanwich sophomore, Sam Weiner observes Hanukkah each year. He described some of his family traditions during an interview,

“At sunset we light the menorah, we say the prayers and we run over to get our presents.  Each night is basically the same and on the first and last night we have latkes and brisket.

Hanukkah started at sundown on Sunday, December 2nd and ended on the evening of Monday, December 10th when the last day expires.

Story by David-Jared Matthews, Reporter

Edited by Ted Frascella, Editor in Chief

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