Friday, December 11, 2009

Festival of Lights

I'm baaaaack... after being in a pain-killer induced fog the last few days, I'm happy to report that the surgery went well, I'm recuperating very well and couldn't ask for better results! That being said, I'm still taking it easy, so I'll be moseying around Etsy a little bit less - although for the most part, it is business as usual!!

Since Hanukkah begins at sundown tonight, and since my in-laws will be beginning their celebrations, I thought I would show off some of the lovely Hanukkah items that I've seen on Etsy. By the way, in case you're wondering why there are so many different spellings of this holiday seen everywhere, it's because there is no exact English translation for the Hebrew word for this holiday!

While one of the most easily recognized symbols of Hanukkah, the menorah, is typically crafted as a u-shaped candle holder, you shouldn't be surprised that my favorite from Etsy is not "typical", but I hope you'll agree that it's lovely! I found this gorgeous ORIGINAL BRONZE CHANUKKA MENORAH at artnharmony58. I love the old-world look and design of the patinated bronze - and this would make a stunning gift for Hannukah, a bar or bat mitzvah, a wedding, or even a housewarming present.

The dreidel is one of the best known symbols of Hanukkah. A four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side, the dreidel is used to play a fun Hanukkah game of chance.
The letters on the dreidel - Nun, Gimmel, Hey and Shin -stand for the Nes Gadol Haya Sham, which means A Great Miracle Happened There. To play the game of dreidel, two to four players each get a handful of pennies or chocolate money called gelt. The remainder of the pot is left in the middle. The youngest players spins the dreidel and depending on what letter the top lands on, he or she will:
NUN - Lose his turn, the top passes to the next player.
GIMEL - Win all the pot.
HEY - Win half the pot
SHIN (or PEH) - Lose all of his coins

The dreidel (or Sivivon in Hebrew -from the verb to spin) continues to be passed around the circle until one player has won everyone's coins.

I ran across these beautiful One of a Kind Hand Made Polymer Clay Dreidels at victorybluedesign on Etsy - traditional blues and whites make them the perfect addition to your Hanukkah holiday celebration and even a wonderful way to teach non-Jewish children about other holiday celebrations and traditions from around the world!

It wouldn't be a Jewish holiday feast without latkes. For those of you who may not be familiar with that term, latkes are potato pancakes - and OMG, are they delicious!! I prefer mine served savory with sour cream, but they're also yummy with applesauce - but I must insist that you find a traditional recipe or restaurant that makes them in a traditional way - anything less will just not be the same! This adorable little Bubie Mouse Making Potato Latkes from atticmouse is just the cutest little decoration to add to your Hanukkah collection!

Okay, time for me to take a couple of ibuprofen and rest a while. I hope you've enjoyed my look at some of the "other" holiday's trinkets and decorations. To those of you who begin your Festival of Lights celebration today, Happy Hanukkah!

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