Article and graphic by Yasmine Sarraf
One of the holidays that takes place this season is Hanukkah, a Jewish celebration. Since the date of this holiday is determined by the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar, the date varies every year on the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah takes place every year in November and/or December and lasts for eight days and eight nights. This year, it begins on the evening of November 28 and ends at nightfall on December 6.
One of the general Hanukkah traditions includes lighting a Menorah. A Menorah contains places for nine candles. One candle is added on each of the eight nights, along with the shamash, which is the candle that is used to light the others. People may eat fried food, like latkes, which are similar to pancakes or fritters and often made with potatoes. Gifts are distributed as well.
Millions of people across the globe celebrate Hanukkah, a few of whom are students at Santa Rosa High School. Some of them shared their Hanukkah traditions and experiences.
“Every night at dinner, as a family, we light our Menorah, say our prayers, and then share a treat or something. We also sometimes call some family members,” said senior Evan Sacher. He added that the most important part of Hanukkah to him is family. “It’s a good time to . . . be with family.”
Freshman Gavriella Geffner shared her traditions as well. “My family does the pretty basic Hanukkah celebrations: lighting the Menorah, eating latkes and giving presents. My grandparents always host a Hanukkah party in Los Angeles and my whole family comes every year.” To Geffner, Hanukkah means tradition. “For me, Hanukkah means tradition because it is a holiday celebrated by Jews all over the world for many years. It’s not the most important Jewish holiday, but it’s definitely the one with the best food!”
Another student who celebrates Hanukkah is freshman Kaleigh Rubio. “So what [we] do is . . . light the Menorah for eight days because that’s how long the candle lasted—eight days. [We] also do fun games like spin the dreidel. [We] also get one present for each eight days,” explained Rubio. “Hanukkah is just really fun and makes me happy to celebrate.”