Jews begin celebrations for the ‘Festival of Lights’
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsJews began marking the festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, at sundown yesterday.
The eight-day festival is observed by the kindling of lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah, or Hanukkah. One candle is lit each night of the holiday.
Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, starts on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November through late December on the modern calendar.
Every community has its unique Hanukkah traditions, but there are some traditions that are almost universally practiced. Besides lighting the Memorah, food is also an important part of the celbrations.
Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday.
Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. Sufganiyot are jelly-filled donuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners’ sugar before eating.