Hanukkah is one of the most popular (and fun) Jewish holidays, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Jewish person who doesn’t observe it in one way or another. Because seriously, what’s not to love? You light the menorah, sing some songs, spin a dreidel, eat potato pancakes and open presents. But even if you can’t wait to decorate your annual Hanukkah bush, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this beloved holiday.
Here are a few fun facts that you MAY not know:
1. The letters on the dreidel are the initials of “A great miracle happened there.” Which was the miracle of the oil that burned in the lamp for 8 continuous days!
2. Latkes Aren’t Commonly Eaten in Israel EVEN around this time of year but Jelly doughnuts are!
3. Hanukkah Actually Falls on the Same Day Every Year – In the Hebrew Calendar! According to the Hebrew calendar, the holiday falls on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. The Hebrew calendar doesn’t sync up with the Gregorian calendar, and can fall anywhere from late November to late December (in 2013, it coincided with Thanksgiving).
4. There’s No “Real” Correct Way to Spell Hanukkah — Common transliterations include Hanukah, Chanukah, Chanuka, and Chanucah.
5. There are more songs for Hanukkah than most people think — actually more than any other Jewish holiday in fact. Some of the best known Hanukkah songs include “Rock of Ages” (not to be confused with the eighteenth-century Christian hymn of the same name), “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” “Oh Hanukkah,” and, of course, Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song.” There are some great Hanukkah TV specials as well.