Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to Arrange Hanukkah Symbols

It's easy to tell when Hanukkah is approaching. Each December Hanukkah symbols are proudly displayed across the globe. Knowing how to recognize the symbols of Hanukkah, as well as understanding how to arrange them in your decorating scheme, can make for a memorable holiday. Share the blessings of the Feast of Lights with others by learning how to arrange Hanukkah symbols.

Arrange a grand display of traditional Hanukkah symbols across the mantel of your fireplace, if you have one. Freshly cut evergreens, a menorah, a few dreidels with some gelt (chocolate coins wrapped in gold or silver foil) create a festive atmosphere.

Include the "shamash" among your Hanukkah symbols. This is a candle that is lit each night during the eight days of Hanukkah in addition to one candle of the menorah for each night. The shamash, which translates to mean guardian or servant, serves as a reminder that the Talmud prohibits the lights of Hanukkah to be used for anything other than reflecting upon the story of Hanukkah. (In other words, not for illumination). According to tradition, you should arrange the shamash so that it is either higher or lower than the other candles of the menorah and use it to light them each night.

Bring the symbols of Hanukkah to your holiday table. It is customary to eat foods fried in oil. This is done to honor the Hanukkah miracle of the eternal flame of the Temple of Jerusalem being kept lit for eight days from a small flask of oil found by the Kohen Gadol, or High Priest. Traditional fried foods include latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (deep fried doughnuts).

Celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Feast of Lights, by arranging strands of blue and white lights in and around your home, such as over doorways, windows and outdoor greenery.

Keep one or more dreidels on your coffee table, accompanied by a bowl of gelt. The Dreidel Game is a popular pastime for children during Hanukkah. It also presents an opportunity to teach children the meaning of the Hebrew symbols that appear on the four sides of the dreidel, which mean "A Miracle Happened Here!"

Make some Stars of David from foil, or from blue and white cardboard or construction paper. Hang them around the house as decorations. You can also work one or more into a table centerpiece arrangement to symbolize Hanukkah.

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