Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

We’re the Carolinas Original Christmas music station, but as the only Jewish person on staff in our Charlotte office, I wanna share some info about Hanukkah. Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is the ‘Festival of Lights’. We celebrate every year for eight days and the dates are always different as it goes by the Jewish (Hebrew) calendar.

Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. The Jewish people rose up against the Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. After reclaiming the Temple, there was enough oil to light a lamp for a single day. The tiny bit of oil lasted for eight days, which is why we celebrate Hanukkah for eight days instead of one.

Each night we light candles on a menorah. The first night we light one, the second night two, and it goes on for eight days. This year Hanukkah will be celebrated from Sunday, December 18 thru Monday, December 26. As a kid, my family celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with a big meal, which includes latkes, or potato pancakes. If you’ve never tried them, they’re yummy! We’d also play a game of dreidel. All the cousins would play. A dreidel is a Jewish top, and you’d play for gelt, or chocolate coins. All of the kids would get a gift every night for the eight days/nights.

My friends were always jealous when I was a kid because they thought I’d get more presents than them since Hanukkah lasted eight days and Christmas was only one. Truth told, the giftage worked out to be around the same amount. LOL!

According to Charlotte Five, there are numerous ways to celebrate Hanukkah in Charlotte, which include food and fun activities. If you’ve never experienced Hanukkah, check out one of these fun events!

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