The Jewish holiday, Hannukah, is one of the most important of all Jewish holidays, and coincides with the Christian holiday, Christmas, and you can easily have a blended Hannukah party of your own. Hannukah means “Dedication" and was first celebrated as a rededication of the Jewish holy temple after Antiochus IV desecrated it. When the Maccabees were triumphant over the Seleucid Empire, the Jews wanted to cleanse and rededicate their holy temple. Olive oil was particularly precious and used in such rituals, and there was only enough consecrated olive oil left to fuel the temple's eternal flame for a single day at most. They knew it would take eight days for more oil to be prepared, but began the ceremony in faith, and they saw a miracle occur when that single day's oil burned for eight days, until they had more oil to continue their ritual.
For this reason, it is important to perform the ritual lighting of the menorah, when celebrating Hanukkah. Traditional celebrations normally include eating, the exchange of gifts or presents of money or candy coins, recitation of blessings, and lighting the menorah. Decorations usually include a traditional use of blue, silver, and white. Hanukkah trees are becoming more popular and are normally decorated in the traditional colors with a star of David on top.
More and more the traditional celebration of Hanukkah is being blended with Christmas, and if you wish to pass on and retain certain traditions of both faiths, it is important to ease the transition with a blend of traditional activities, gifts, and foods. Make it easy for everyone by writing down and handing out things such as the traditional blessings used when lighting the menorah. Though you may know the blessings, it will make it much easier for the ones who do not, to have them written down, and make it much less awkward for those who don't, if everyone receives a written copy.
If you begin planning early, let everyone know they will be attending a blended celebration, and make sure everyone knows what to expect, blended Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations can be a true joy and time of embracing, rather than rejecting differences. Blended celebrations can be a true joy for everyone.
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