Holidays Around the World: Hanukkah

We typically take a break from our regular homeschool studies during the month of December and use the time for some creative history and geography lessons.  We use crafts, activities, and field trips to help us learn about holiday customs around the world. We are happy to share some of our favorite holiday activities and encourage your family to get to know how other families are Celebrating Holidays Around the World!This post contains affiliate links.

Hanukkah, or Chanukkah, is known as the The Festival of Lights. This annual Jewish holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and lasts for eight days.

It symbolizes the miracle of the Hanukkah lights, when one day’s amount of oil actually burned for eight days after the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Syrians during the second century B.C.

Lighting the Menorah

The lighting of candles is an important, religious part of Hanukkah.

Nine candles are placed in a menorah. There is a candle for each night and a shamash (servant/helper) in the middle, which sits higher than the others.

We typically take a break from our regular homeschool studies during the month of December and use the time for some creative history and geography lessons.  We use crafts, activities, and field trips to help us learn about holiday customs around the world. We are happy to share some of our favorite holiday activities and encourage your family to get to know how other families are Celebrating Holidays Around the World!

After dark, on the first evening, a candle is put into the menorah on the right end. The middle candle is lit and three blessings (berakhot) are said. Then, using the shamash, the first candle is lit and the shamash is returned to its middle spot.

On consecutive evenings, a new candle is added from right to left; however they are lit from left to right. After the first night, only the first two blessings are given before lighting the candles.

Play Dreidel

Enjoy the fun Hanukkah custom of playing dreidel, using a traditional square-sided top and game pieces, like pretzel sticks, chocolate gelt (chocolate coins), or pennies.

You’ll notice that printed on each of the four sides are Hebrew letters representing “Nes gadol haya sham,” or “A great miracle occurred there.” The letters are also the directions for the game.

We typically take a break from our regular homeschool studies during the month of December and use the time for some creative history and geography lessons.  We use crafts, activities, and field trips to help us learn about holiday customs around the world. We are happy to share some of our favorite holiday activities and encourage your family to get to know how other families are Celebrating Holidays Around the World!

To begin, each person puts a game piece in the center “pot.” One person spins the dreidel and does the following, depending on the letter that lands face up.

  • נ Nun – you do nothing.
  • ג Gimmel – you take everything in the pot.
  • ה Hey – you take half of the pot.
  • ש Shin – you add one of your pieces to the pot.

The game continues until one person ends up with everything. Often families will have the winning player divide the pieces back out so that everyone is a winner and receives a treat.

We typically take a break from our regular homeschool studies during the month of December and use the time for some creative history and geography lessons.  We use crafts, activities, and field trips to help us learn about holiday customs around the world. We are happy to share some of our favorite holiday activities and encourage your family to get to know how other families are Celebrating Holidays Around the World!

Enjoy a Taste of Hanukkah

One of the best-known foods of Hanukkah is the potato pancake, called Latkes in Yiddish and Levivot in Hebrew. The main ingredient, shredded potatoes, are molded and fried in oil.

It’s another reminder of the oil miracle.

Holidays Around the World: Hanukkah @Education Possible

Consider moving your lesson into the kitchen to fry up some latkes.

If you’d like to stick with tradition, here is a great Potato Latkes recipe. This flavor goes great with sour cream and applesauce.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, give these Sweet Potato Latkes With Toasted Marshmallows a try. They remind me of our Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole.

Star of David Paper Craft

Holidays Around the World: Hanukkah

Create your own Star of David using cardstock and tape, just like the one we made. Simple, quick, and frugal!

Happy Hanukkah!

Holiday Foods from Around the World - Education Possible One of our favorite traditions is to expand our Geography lessons to include learning about holiday customs and activities around the world. We use crafts, field trips, and of course FOOD to bring our learning to life! Inspire your teen to travel without leaving home. You might find some gifts you can make and give to friends and family this season.

 

 

 

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Megan Zechman
I love homeschooling! Learning is a way of life for our family. Most days you will find us exploring our Central Florida community, having fun while learning. I am constantly looking for new and interactive ways to engage my children. Pinterest is one of my favorite tools for finding fun, hands-on learning activities. Connect with me @Pinterest.
Megan Zechman
Megan Zechman

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