Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar.
In Hebrew, the word “hanukkah” means “dedication.” The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E. Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Greeks in the Maccabean War in 162 BCE. A ritual re-dedication of the Temple occurred after the Jewish people’s victory. It is believed that there was only enough oil to keep the lamps burning for one day but the small bottle of oil miraculously lasted for eight days. Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah, is referred as the Feast of Lights or Festival of Lights for this reason.
For fun and educational activities for children go to http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/hanukkah/
Directions to play the Dreidel game. Play for Hershey kisses, a great way to have fun with the kids when they are home from school! http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/hanukkah/dreidel-game.html
Photo Robert Couse-Baker (Flickr)
From Christine Connally, Community Counselor in MD:
Childcare focus – Check with your host parents before you buy a child a toy that requires close supervision – electrically operated toys, shooting toys and games, chemistry sets, and the like. Remember, too, that younger children may have access to toys intended for older children once the toy has been brought into the home.
Driving – Traffic tends to be heavier around the Holidays. My best advice is to leave earlier than normal and take your time. Be the “bigger person” and allow that one last car to slip in ahead of you. It may avoid an accident. Remember au pairs can be asked to pay up to $500 of the deductible for an accident.
Healthy eating – is your house filled with treats, and goodies that are tempting you? It is the season, and you are here for a cultural exchange, so try some of the traditional sweets your host family is offering, but it is a good idea to downsize your portions – how much you eat is as important as what you eat.
Hints for success – If there is an alarm system for the house, be sure that the au pair is listed with the alarm company as a legitimate user of the alarm. Also, the au pair must know the appropriate security code in case of a false alarm.
Photo: Benjamin Chun
From Cynthia Moody, Community Counselor in Nashville TN:
Now that Halloween is over, we are already talking about the holidays! One in particular: Thanksgiving….
This year, Thanksgiving presents a very interesting fact for our generation… since President Lincoln establish Thanksgiving in 1863, this is the first time that Hanukkah will start the day of Thanksgiving. Mathematically speaking, this will not happen again for another 77,798 years! The reason for this is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years!
So, weather you are celebrating Thanksgiving or Hanukkah on November 28th 2013, just know and be proud to be a part of a very interesting history!
HAPPY THANKSNUKKAH everyone!