Hanukkah Event ハヌカのイベント

Hi everyone! This is Steven, the CIR in Seika. I’d like to tell everyone about a foreign culture-related event I put on recently.


Did you know that many Jewish people do not celebrate Christmas? As a Jewish person, I grew up celebrating a different holiday called Hanukkah. Hanukkah comes at a slightly different time every year because it is pegged to the Hebrew calendar, but it is always around the same time as Christmas. However, Hanukkah has its own special customs that are unrelated to Christmas. On Sunday, December 9th, I had the opportunity to teach 17 children and their parents about Hanukkah at the Mukunoki Center in Seika.


First, the event opened with the story of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a holiday which celebrates two miracles. The first was that the ancient Jews successfully rebelled against their Greek oppressors despite a vastly smaller army. The second was that when the Jews built a new temple and rededicated it, their menorah (nine-branched candelabrum) burned for a whole eight days, even though there was only enough oil for one day. For this reason, Hanukkah is celebrated over an eight-day period.



Frying latkes 揚げたラトケ

After that, we moved onto the activities section of the event. First up was cooking latkes, traditional Jewish potato pancakes which are often eaten on Hanukkah. By the end, everyone was getting good at flipping them over, and I’d say they came out pretty well!



Making a pop-up card 飛び出すカード作り

Next came the crafts. First, everyone made pop-up cards and decorated them with various Hanukkah-related images, such as menorahs. Then they all learned how to make paper dreidels, or special tops that children play with on Hanukkah.


The final part of the event was candle-lighting. Participants got to try their hand at lighting candles. Some of the children were nervous at dealing with fire, but in the end they did a magnificent job of lighting the candles. Afterwards, everyone stood and enjoyed the tradition that has given Hanukkah the nickname of “Festival of Lights.”



Lit candles ともした明かり

It was great getting to teach everyone about my culture and have fun in the process. Looking forward to next time!



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