Every evening, Jewish families light the candles on the Chanukkia, the Hanukkah menorah. The eight-day Jewish festival of lights commemorates the rededication of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BC: Although there was only enough consecrated oil for one day and it took eight days to produce new consecrated oil, the menorahs in the temple burned for eight days without going out. As a holiday, Hanukkah is not tied to highly religious rituals, but is mainly celebrated as a family celebration. In addition to lighting the candles, there are family meals, games and small gifts.

According to the Jewish calendar, Hanukkah usually falls during the Christian Advent and Christmas seasons - also a time of joy, celebration and getting together with loved ones with their own traditions. Since the middle of the 19th century, the customs of these two holidays have been mixed, especially in secular Jewish families. Even Theodor Herzl , founder of the idea of ​​a Jewish state, could not refuse his children's wish for a Christmas tree: "As far as I'm concerned, it can be called the Hanukkah tree," he is said to have said, thus building a bridge between Christmas and the Jewish festival of lights.

A central element of both Hanukkah and Christmas is the use of lights to illuminate the darkness and symbolize hope. Giving gifts and eating together also fits into both traditions: since traditional Jewish holiday cuisine includes particularly fatty, greasy dishes, some families now have a Hanukkah goose for the festive meal.

Nowadays, 'Chrismukka' is especially popular in the USA. The English term 'Chrismukka' was popularized by the television series 'The OC' (2003) . 'Chrismukka' or 'Chrismukka' reflects the blending of Christmas and Hanukkah traditions in interfaith families. This fusion allows for a celebration that includes the diversity of cultures within one household. Speaking of the USA: one of the biggest American Christmas hits, White Christmas , was written by an Orthodox Jew from New York, Irving Berlin.

Our artistic director Daniel Grossmann has recorded a video in which he talks about Hanukkah and the celebration customs in his family. You can find it here.

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