Celebrating Hanukkah

Date: 21 Dec 2016

Hanukkah (or Chanukah) is the Jewish Festival of Light, celebrated over 8 days to remember the miracle of the temple light that burned for 8 days on just one day’s oil. The first day of Hanukkah is on 25th of Kislev, a date in the Jewish lunar calendar.

 This year, the festival commences at sundown on Saturday 24th December 2016 and ends in the evening of Sunday 1st January 2017.

Many fun activities celebrating Hanukkah traditions take place across our nurseries. Here are some examples but do not hesitate to contact us with your tips and ideas #BrightHorizonsHanukkah

  1. Staff light one candle on the ‘menorah’ or ‘chanukiah’ (candelabra) for each night of the celebration and talk to children about the story of Hanukkah. Children then have an opportunity to have a go and create their own by using for example bottle tops, clay, play dough etc.
  2. Children can play games with a “dreidel” (spinning top). Great chance for staff to point out the different Hebrew letters and how they are read from right to left.
  3. It’s tradition to eat fried foods such as doughnuts or potato latkes

Recipe 10 potato latkes

2 large potatoes

2 tablespoons plain flour

2 eggs

salt and pepper

oil for frying

mixing bowl, whisk, frying pan, fish slice, potato peeler, grater



1. Peel and grate the potatoes.

2. Drain off any excess liquid.

3. Add well-beaten egg, seasoning and flour


4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.

5. Drop in spoonfuls of mixture, flattening it as you put it in.

6. When brown on one side, turn and brown the other.

7. Drain on paper kitchen towels.

8. Eat warm.

The Story of Hanukkah 

A Dreidel song in English

Listen in Hebrew

Recommended books

Eight Candles to Light: A Chanukah Story (Festival Time) by Jonny Zucker

Hanukkah, (My Family Celebrates), by Cath Senker