Learn About & Celebrate Hanukkah – The Festival of Lights!

Hanukkah, the eight-day “festival of lights” celebrated by Jewish people around the world, commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This year the first night of Hanukkah is on Sunday, December 18.

Over the centuries, Hanukkah has taken on different meanings for those who light their lamps each year, adapting traditions for each time and place. A joyous occasion, underscoring spiritual resiliency and freedom of religion, it is now celebrated with family gatherings and gift giving, traditional foods, prayer and by lighting the menorah – which symbolizes the miraculous 8 days the temple lanterns stayed lit in Jerusalem.

To learn all about Hanukkah and enjoy the holiday fun, check out the videos, family-friendly activities and books, and delicious recipes below!

Learn About the Holiday

Eight Days of Hanukkah | Peg + Cat

Grades PreK-K
Albert Einstein has invited Peg, Cat and their friends to celebrate Hanukkah! Learn more about this special winter holiday with a sing-a-long.

Dreidel | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Grades PreK-2
In this short from Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, Yadina and Xavier ask Brad about his Hanukkah traditions even when they are nervous about not knowing. With a little help from Berby, we revisit Frederick Douglass who shows us that wanting to learn more about something or someone is what curiosity is all about!

Hanukkah | Religion and Ethics Weekly

Grades 6-12
Susan Braunstein, Curator of Archaeology and Judaica at the Jewish Museum of New York, explains the traditions of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah 2 | Religion and Ethics Weekly

Grades 6-12
Hanukkah is a holiday of freedom, recalling the successful Jewish revolt against the Syrians who had conquered and occupied Jerusalem. Listen to the story at the home of Rabbi Bentzion Geisinsky, in Potomac, Maryland.

Activities, Books and Recipes

Make a 3D Dreidel With a 2D Piece of Paper

Grades PreK-2
Celebrate the festival of lights with Peg + Cat! Einstein showed Peg how to make a dreidel out of a flat sheet of paper. Make your own with this easy printable activity.

10 Books That Celebrate Hanukkah

Grades PreK-3
From Maccabees to latkes to menorahs, help your child learn about Hanukkah and get in the holiday spirit by reading some of these family-friendly books.

Pasta Menorah

Grades PreK-3
This Hanukkah menorah craft will appeal to kids of all ages! It’s fairly easy and allows for a lot of creativity.

Hanukkah Recipes: Latkes, Brisket, and Jewish Desserts

All Ages
Need a new recipe for Hanukkah? How about some latkes? Check out these featured Hanukkah recipes. Whatever you are looking for, PBS Food has delicious recipes for the festival of lights.

Edible Marshmallow Dreidels

All Ages
And for dessert, you can’t lose with these edible marshmallow dreidels! Happy Hanukkah!