Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Each night, for 8 nights, families gather around and celebrate by lighting the Menorah. The Menorah symbolizes the oil that lasted long ago in the temple. After the Maccabean War, the Jewish people went back into their temple they only had enough oil for one night, but it lasted for eight nights. This is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights. Each night, the shamash candle (the middle one) is light and from there the other candles are lit. One for each night of Hanukkah.
Families gather together and exchange gifts and a meal. They enjoy potato lakes, sufganiyot (a type of jelly filled donut) and other fried foods (in celebration of the oil that lasted 8 nights). The game of dreidel is played to try and win nuts or gelt (gold chocolate coins). And of course, they light the lights!
Learn more with from National Geographic’s Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights Starts Tonight.
This is the Dreidel by Abby Levine
Follow along as Art for Kids Hub makes a Menorah
Now, let’s make a Menorah. You can either have your child put the whole thing together on one day, or add candles from right to left each night as they do in the celebration.
cut a paper plate in half
one half leave whole, the other half cut out a triangle section for the base (you can color or paint the plate pieces or leave them white… your choice)
on the whole half you will draw curved lines to represent the “arms” of the menorah
cut nine thin rectangles from construction paper (I chose blue, but you can do white, blue, yellow, silver….)
make flames from tissue paper or yellow construction paper
now let’s light the lights!