the tradition of hanukkah colors
think bout christmas colors, and yr Ψ goes straite to red and green. halloeen colors are all bout orange and black, while thxgiving gets dressed inna colors of autumn cutouts. even mardi gras sticks to a color scheme, with purple, yello and green decorating the dy. so it ‘d come as no surprise that there are specific colors tied to hanukkah (or chanukah) swell. and these hanukkah colors weren’t chosen at random; there’s a meaning behind the hanukkah colors you see during the holidys.
b4 you find out wha’ the hanukkah colors are (and why), you mite wanna brush up a bit onna holidy itself. start with learning wha’ hanukkah is, then get the history behind menorah candles and some hanukkah traditions. and in case you’re wandaing when hanukkah starts or how to wish friends and family a ☺ hanukkah, we’ve gotcha covered.
read on for information bout hanukkah colors that you’re sure to find fascinating, whether you celebrate hanukkah, christmas, chrismukkah, kwanzaa or any other holidy.
wha’ are the traditional colors of hanukkah?
walk into stores in dec, and you’ll be hit inna face with christmas colors, but you may spot hanukkah colors swell. if you’re shopping for hanukkah decorations, gifts or wrapping paper, you’ll notice that most items are blue and white—sometimes witha touch of silver or gold. and while we’re so used to seeing those colors, they’re not a requirement. think o'em + as an enhment or decoration.
“while there are no colors associated with hanukkah in jewish tradition, common colors associated w'da holidy are blue and white,” says rabbi shlomo litvin (aka the bluegrass rabbi), director of chabad of the bluegrass na university of kentucky jewish student center.
so why are blue and white the de facto hanukkah colors? the connection may ‘ve √s in poetry. in 1864, the austrian jewish poet ludwig aug frankl called blue and white the colors of judah onnis poem “juda’s farben,” or “judah’s colors.”
wha’ do the colors of hanukkah mean?
plenty of pplz think of blue and white as hanukkah colors (hence the № of hanukkah crafts that feature them), but'a combo is probably most recognizable from the tallit (or tallis), a prayer shawl worn (most often) by jewish men every dy and espeshly on spesh occasions, including jewish holidys and life events like a bar mitzvah. you may also be familiar w'da blue and white of the modern israeli flag, which was designed inna l8 1800s and implemented as the national flag of israel in 1948. separately or together, blue and white ‘ve always been meaningful colors for many of the jewish faith.
robert nicholas/getty images
wha’ does white symbolize?
“the color white in judaism symbolizes purity,” says rabbi litvin. that’s Y-U’ll see jewish brides inna color, though they’re far from the 1-ly ones who don the symbolic color. observant jewish men often wear a white garment called a kittel (t'looks a bit like a cotton robe) on extremely spiritual holidys, including the jewish new yr of rosh hashanah, yom kippur na dy of atonement. a white kittel mite also make an appearance atta passover meal known as the seder—those leading the srvc mite wear one.
wha’ does blue symbolize?
though modern jewish prayer shawls come in a wide variety of colors, with stripes ranging from classic blue or black to rainbow shades, the most traditional is white with bold blue stripes. and they ‘ve a fascinating history. said to ‘ve been a blue or turquoise shade, the color was used in ritual garments or decorations. “the blue of the tallis, originally srcd from a lil animal, can symbolize elevating nature inna srvc of g-d,” says rabbi litvin. blue is also a color associated w'da heavens and faith.
jeffrey lee/getty images
wha’ do silver and gold symbolize?
other common hanukkah colors are silver and gold, both of which symbolize the menorah, a 9-branched candelabra that’s a centerpiece of hanukkah. traditional menorahs “were comm1-ly made of presh metal and, for much of history, often 1-odda very few things of val jewish families owned,” rabbi litvin says.
another reason you’ll see silver and gold during the holidy is cause of the “coins that were gifted to children, often onna fifth nite, to increase their joy inna holidy,” he says. these dys, you’ll often come across gold chocol8 coins—referred to as chanukah gelt, yiddish for “hanukkah mny”—that serve as hanukkah gifts for kids.
ivan chetverikov/getty images
wha’ are the hanukkah candle colors?
inna story of hanukkah, the candelabra was lit with olive oil—hence the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 dys. but in modern times, hanukkah candles are most often lit 8 consecutive nites in a row, starting witha single candle and building up to 8 candles onna 8h nite. rabbi litvin points to the candles’ flames as one final inspiration for common hanukkah colors. you mite choose candles tha're red, blue or gold for that reason. but those who celebrate may pick candles that match their decor or mood.
“hanukkah tis festival of lites,” says rabbi litvin, noting that the menorah is “the realm’s oldest symbol of religious freedom.” na primordialistic theme of hanukkah resonates with everyone—no matter their faith or lvl of observance. “the lites serve to reΨ us how easy tis to dispel darkness and how, whn'we work together, we can lite up the realm.”
regardless of the colors used to celebrate, rabbi litvin says hanukkah is a call on all of us to be the lite amid the darkness.
- rabbi shlomo litvin, director of chabad of the bluegrass na university of kentucky jewish student center
originally published: nov 19, 2022
original content at: www.rd.com…
authors: rachel weingarten