Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday, that marks the rededication of the temple of Jerusalem. Also known as Chanukkah, Feast of Dedication, and Festival of Light, this traditional celebration starts from 25th day of Chislev as per the Hebrew calendar. A number of rituals, both family and communal, are added to the daily routine during these eight days. Special after-meal blessings are said and people exchange gifts at night.
For the primary indoor and outdoor decorations, lights are used. The tradition is to increase the number of light each night by one. A guard light, known as Shamash, is also lit each night and is either placed above or below the rest of the lights. According to the customs, the lights are either candles or oil lamps. Electric lights are also acceptable in places like hospitals.
Decorations for Hanukkah
As already mentioned, Hanukkah is the festival of light. Hence, lights play an important role in the Hanukkah decor. Apart from the lights, the decorations also contain various inflatable items. Let us take a look at various outdoor and indoor Hanukkah decorations that are available in the market.
This is a special candelabra that has nine branches, each containing a candle stand or an oil lamp. The eight lights on the side represent the eight days and the central one is the shamash. The menorah is placed near the window or the door so that people outside can see it, as the basic purpose of these lights is not to illuminate the house but the outside. Some families also have separate menorah for each family member. For outdoor decorations, nowadays lawn size menorah, made of artificial lights, are also available. These are either made up of rope lights or bulbs that can really brighten the lawn.
Star of David
It is a six-sided star that is also a commonly recognized symbol of Judaism. The Star of David is available in single or multicolored lights and is either made up of rope light or separate bulbs. The star can be used as a small hanging inside the house or a big lawn display, according to the choice.
It is a four-sided spinning top and is also one of the symbols of Judaism. It is played with during the celebrations and each of its side has a letter of Hebrew. These four letters represent 'Nes Gadol Haya Sham' meaning, "a great miracle happened here". For the decoration purpose, the dreidel is used as a window decoration. It is made of rope lights or foil to decorate the house. These are also available in crystal or glass material.
These are a set of dreidel-shaped lights hanging from a string. These are often musical lights and an absolute delight for the children. This string of light can be hung outside the house as well as in the room for decoration.
Light Strings and Banners
Various electric strings spelling 'Happy Chanukkah', 'Shalom', etc., are also available as outdoor lighting decorations. These are made of multicolored rope lights or light bulbs that give a beautiful effect. Different banners are also available that can be hung above the entrance door. These banners have either the words or symbols like the Star of David and Driedels hanging from them. These are made of foil and they shine due to reflection.
Inflatable Hanukkah Decorations
The inflatable Hanukkah decorations are also a way to beautify the house. These are available as indoor as well as outdoor decorations. These inflatables include the Menorah, Star of David, Hanukkah Bear, Frosty the Jewish Snowman, Hanukkah Globe, etc. These are available as lawn displays as well as an indoor Hanukkah decor.
Apart from these decorations, some people also like to decorate their house with Hanukkah garlands, Hanukkah impression flags, multicolored Hanukkah confetti and foil chandeliers with Star of David or Dreidels hanging from them. Glitter window clings are also used. These are in the shape of Star of David, Dreidel or Menorah and are painted with glitter so that they shine.
Hanukkah decorations play an important role in the celebration of this festival. The above are just a few of the many decorations for Hanukkah that are available in the market. Decorations come in various types and varieties, and you can choose the ones that you like the most. Hanukkah decorations can be made at home as well, to give that personal touch to the decorations and you can use these decorations to decorate and light up your house this festive season. Have fun! And have a Happy Hanukkah!