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Hanukkah does not deserve to be sidelined anymore

Hanukkah does not deserve to be sidelined anymore

Hanukkah does not deserve to be sidelined anymore
December 06
17:06 2019

For those unaware, Hanukkah is the Jewish holiday that celebrates and commemorates when the Jewish people rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors during the Maccabean Revolt. After this, the Jewish people reclaimed the holy temple in Jerusalem. To rededicate the temple, they needed oil to light the menorah, but they only had enough oil to light it for one night.

However, that oil lasted for eight days and was able to keep the eternal flame lit.

Now because of this, Hanukkah lasts eight days each year to commemorate the “Miracle of the Lights.” While the dates usually change every year Hanukkah is celebrated, this year it falls during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

But yet, each year, Hanukkah is always sidelined to make way for the major holidays that happen to fall in the same timeframe.

While the dates changing each year may present apprehension for businesses to stock traditional Hanukkah merchandise, I still struggle to see the real reason why so little Hanukkah merchandise is stocked in stores when it can be doubled up with the endless Christmas merchandise.

What this says to me is that stores simply refuse to want to stock Hanukkah merchandise because it might not sell. I am sure there are enough Jewish people in a given area that want to actively celebrate the holiday that is about them, so in turn they would want to celebrate with merchandise that goes along with the holiday. In fact, Target is the only major store that stocks Hanukkah merchandise each consecutive year. While it usually only gets a small little end-cap in the store and the products are usually the same every year, I still have to give props to Target for stocking some merchandise in the first place.

Of course, there are many Americans who celebrate Christmas, but there are quite a lot of Americans who celebrate Hanukkah as well. I celebrate both and love both equally. But, exposure for the Christmas holiday is exponentially more than Hanukkah.

Hanukkah traditions are quite similar to Christmas as well. Hanukkah and Christmas both consist of gift-giving and during Hanukkah it is common to receive a gift all eight days of the holiday to celebrate each day the menorah was lit. During Hanukkah as well, is it tradition to have feasts with traditional Hanukkah foods. While the food certainly differs from traditional Christmas foods, it is still a time to get together with family and relish in each other’s company whilst eating great food.

While all the Christmas festivities are going on, I implore you to stop and think about the Hanukkah festivities that are going on during the exact same time and maybe even light a menorah or eat some potato latkes or some matzo ball soup to commemorate what the Jewish people went through so long ago. Maybe even take a minute to check on your Jewish friends during Hanukkah.

With more people embracing the traditions and rites of passage that come with Hanukkah, the holiday can gain some much more needed exposure so it can hopefully stop being pushed to the side each and every year.

Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh

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Spencer Kain

Spencer Kain

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