Happy Hanukkah!

In Australia, many Jewish families observe the first day of Hanukkah on December, 6th.  The last day of this special holiday is on Monday, December, 14th.  Hanukkah is also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights.  It is important to know that Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish observance that remembers the Jewish people’s struggle for religious freedom.  This holiday commemorates the victory of the ancient Israelites over the Syrian Greek army and the miracle of restoring the menorah in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

How do local communities in Australia celebrate Hanukkah?

If you book accommodation at a Manly hostel, you will have the chance to discover the symbols of this holiday.  Keep in mind the fact that the first day of Hanukkah is not a nationwide public holiday in Australia.  There are some amazing Hanukkah foods like latkes, potato pancakes, jelly doughnuts, bimuelos, etc.  What is special about these foods?  They are deep-fried in oil, symbolizing the oil from the menorah used in the Temple.

Hanukkah involves also socializing.  Many local communities meet and play games in venues such as parks and beaches.  Gift-giving is also part of Hanukkah’s traditions.  This is the main reason some people order gift baskets to give to others.  For example, in Australia people buy Hanukkah card games, board games and books in order to make gifts.  Needless to say, a toy known as the dreidel is widely popular among both children and adults during Hanukkah.  The dreidel is a spinning top with a different Hebrew letter inscribed in each of its four sides – the four letters form an acronym meaning “a great miracle happened here”.

The most important symbol of Hanukkah is the hanukiah (or chanukkiyah).  It is a type of candelabrum that holds eight candles to commemorate the eight days that the oil burned and a ninth candle that sits apart, known as the shamash, or servant candle that lights the others. One candle is lit on the first night, another on the second, and so forth until all candles are lit on the last night.

The diversity of people who live in Australia is charming.  There are so many special events to celebrate.  Book budget accommodation Sydney and you will have the chance to meet international students, backpackers, international travelers.  The cultural changes are so important!