Hanukkah (// hah-nə-kə; Hebrew חֲנֻכָּה, Tiberian: Ḥănukkāh, usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced /χanuˈka/ in Modern Hebrew; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah,Chanukkah or (Chanuˈkah), also known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.
The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a unique candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one additional light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. The typical Menorah consists of eight branches with an additional raised branch. The extra light is called w shamash (Hebrew: שמש, "attendant") and is given a distinct location, usually above or below the rest. The purpose of the shamash is to have a light available for practical use, as using the Hanukkah lights themselves for purposes other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah is forbidden.
As with Thanksgiving, there is also a plethora of cruelty-free Hanukkah recipes to choose from. Here are recipe/links to some of the best ones on the Internet:
Vegan Chanukah Doughnuts
Vegan Hanukkah donuts. Hanukkah is the perfect excuse to indulge in all things fried, and just because you eat a vegan, egg-free or dairy-free diet doesn't mean you can't also love Hanukkah donuts! This homemade vegan Hanukkah doughnut recipe is a great Israeli treat. For an extra sweet vegan Hanukkah donuts, dust them with a bit of powdered sugar.
- 2 packages yeast
- 1/3 cup + 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 cups bleached spelt pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup soy milk
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 1/4 cup margarine, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- oil for frying
In a glass bowl, mix together the yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and the water until the yeast and sugar has dissolved. Allow to sit for ten minutes.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a third bowl, combine the 1/3 cup sugar and remaining ingredients, except for oil. Add the yeast mixture, and then gradually add the flour and salt. Combine until a stiff dough forms.
Cover and allow to sit for one hour.
On a floured surface, knead the dough for about one minute, then roll out to about 3/4 inch thickness. Cover with a dish towel or cloth and let rise for about 20 minutes, until doubled in size.
In a deep fryer or a deep pan, heat several inches of oil over high heat. Test the temperature by placing a small piece of dough in the oil. The oil is the right temperature when the dough rises to the surface almost immediately. If it doesn't rise to the top, the oil is not yet hot enough.
Fry the donuts in oil for a minute or two, turning over as needed, until browned on both sides. Allow to drain on paper towels.
Makes about 12 homemade vegan Chanukah donuts.
Many more cruelty-free meals and celebrations can be found at these websites:
Hanukkah with a Vegan Touch
Classic Vegan Hanukkah Recipes
A Happy Vegan Hanukkah
Happy Hanukkah Checklist