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Hanukkah is a minor holiday in the sense that there is no requirement to abstain from work.
Symbols of Jewish holiday: Menorah, candles, dreidel. Read more: Our December Holidays Resource Page includes a Guide to Hanukkah for Interfaith Families, videos, a booklet, recipes, activities for children and more.
It’s traditional to have two loaves of special bread—among Jews in the United States, the bread is challah, a braided egg bread.
It’s also an old custom to make stew called hamin or cholent (with a normal English ch, not a heavy h sound) that is cooked overnight so that one can have hot food for Saturday lunch without having to do the work of cooking.
At home, a special activity is eating apples dipped in honey. Probably the most important activity associated with this holiday comes between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: trying to repair relationships and make apologies for bad behavior in the previous year.
Activities: On Purim we read the Book of Esther, wear costumes, eat triangular cookies and other treats, and use noisemakers.Pronounce it: Some say rashashanuh (like it’s one word) and some rohsh ha-shah-nah.When is it: Starts the evening of September 29, 2019, September 18, 2020, September 6, 2021 Jewish Holiday Foods: Apples and honey, round challah with raisins, honey cake, pomegranates, pumpkins and other round foods, sweet foods and foods that are gold-colored, like carrots.Cookies and cakes made out of nuts, like macaroons, are also big on Passover, as are candies that follow the special rules of keeping kosher for this holiday.Activities: Observant Jews don’t eat bread or other leavened foods and have big holiday meal called a seder where they retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.
Symbols of Jewish holiday: Candles, hallah, wine, flowers. Read more: Our Shabbat and Havdalah Resource Page includes booklets, a Guide to Shabbat and Havdalah for Interfaith Families, blessings and more.