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We are invited to dinner tonight with some Jewish friends. I am excited that my six year old has such an opportunity to learn about another holiday, and the traditions taht accompany it. We've read a few children's books that outline what Hanukkah is about, but what kinds of things should I alert my six year old to about tonight to help best prepare her for what to expect?

Happy Hanukkah btw!

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Happy Hannukah to you to! – Double AA Dec 8 '12 at 23:37
Happy Chanukah and welcome to Mi Yodeya! – Monica Cellio Dec 9 '12 at 0:53
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Much depends on the household of the friends. There are a variety of possible practices and traditions which you might encounter but not everyone has the exact same take on everything.

For example, if they have yet to light their Channukiah (the 9 branched candelabra) you might watch them do that and sing 3 blessings. They might say the blessings in English, or in Hebrew. With a tune or without.

They might sing Channukah songs after lighting (in English or Hebrew) and who knows, maybe even dance a little. There might be some coins given to the children (real or chocolate) and there might be gifts given. If the invite includes dinner, they might serve potato pancakes (with apple sauce or sour cream) or jelly donuts, or other foods that befit their particular geographic and ethnic heritage.

The things to speak to your child about range from the obvious (we had to stop our little one from blowing out the candles...she thought it was like a birthday cake) to the less obvious -- don't ask "where's the tree?" or "why are they lighting that fire and saying weird words?"

And if she doesn't like latkes (potato pancakes), she shouldn't feel beholden to eat them...more for me.

Chag Channukah Same'ach (happy Channukah)

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Also note that in some families every family member lights their own candelabra, while in others it's one per household. – Double AA Dec 9 '12 at 0:43
Thanks, we had actually covered most of these things, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Had a great time and she loved the food (as did I) They did the blessings in Hebrew but had written out a translation for us ;-) – balanced mama Dec 9 '12 at 15:28

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