Hanukkah – What Kids Should Know About this Festival of Lights



Hanukkah is a Jewish festival which is also called the ‘Festival of Light”. If you have a toddler at home and he has already started to go to Montessori Pomona, CA, you can talk to him about the festival. They should know the celebration, history, and traditions of this great festival. Learning about various festivals will help them to understand, accept, and appreciate the uniqueness of diverse cultures and traditions followed by different people across the world.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, the ‘festival of lights’, is a Jewish eight-day, wintertime celebration which is commemorated with the nightly menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum) lighting, special prayers, and fried foods. The word ‘Hanukkah’ means dedication in Hebrew and Aramaic. This festival is the celebration of the miracle of victory against overwhelming odds and the rededication of the second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Israel, in the 160s BC.

When is it celebrated?

According to the Jewish calendar, the festival commences on the eve of the Kislev25. As Jewish people follow the Lunar calendar, Kislev can occur anytime from late November to late December. This year it will begin at sunset on 10th December and continue till the night of 18th December.

Tha Origin of Hanukkah :

As children in Day Care Pomona, CA, celebrate Hanukkah through different activities, the caregivers suggest parents talk about the story behind this great festival with their kids. If you do not know much about it, they have shared the story here that they tell their students.

The events behind this festival took place during a tumultuous period in Jewish history. Then, Jerusalem was ruled by the Greek king Antiochus and the Syrian-Greeks during the second century BC. They tried to force people there to accept and follow Greek culture and beliefs. Despite the pressures from the king, a small devoted Jews group led by Judah the Maccabee defeated the Syrian-Greek army and drove them out of the land. In world history, this is renowned as the Maccabean Revolt.

After this, the Jewish people regain control over their holy temple in Jerusalem and dedicated it once again to the service of almighty God. They build a new altar and put together a new menorah in this temple. But as they about to light the menorah, they found only one earthenware jar with olive oil which was enough to keep the lamp lit for one day. But some miracle happened and that lamp continued burning for eight long days. Since then, Jewish people celebrate this festival every year to commemorate this joyous occasion. Families light candles for eight days, and they get together to eat fried foods and exchange gifts.

In Montessori Pomona, CA, children learn about cultures and traditions and as a part of it, they also learn about various celebrations and festivals. This helps them to understand the concept of unity in diversity. They also realize that they should respect and appreciate each other’s traditions and customs.

So, if you want to help your child in his learning journey, please talk to him about different festivals celebrated around the world.