Does your family celebrate the Festival of Lights? December 12th marks the beginning of this year’s Chanukah celebration, when, for 8 nights, Jewish families light a candle to honor a miracle of light that occurred in the 2nd Century BCE.


The Chabad of the Emerald Coast is hosting a (free) Grand Menorah Lighting at HarborWalk Village at 5:30PM on the Stage. Latkes and donuts will be served and families can enjoy live music. Everyone also receives a Menorah.

On 30A, Rosemary Beach has a Menorah on North Barrett Square that will be lit each night. Families are encouraged to watch the lighting of the candle.


If your children aren’t familiar with the story of Chanukah, our friends at Sundog Books have several cute and educational books about the history and meaning of Chanukah. They also have sticker books and coloring books (which are perfect for car rides and rainy days).

A favorite of the Sundog Books staff is “The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin.”

Neat Facts

The Maccabbees were what the Jewish army that revolted against the Syrian-Greek occupation in 139 BCE were called. It was their victory against the Greek army that culminated in the festival of Chanukah. The name Maccabbee is an acronym of their battle cry.

It is correct in both spellings: Chanukah or Hanukkah. The difference comes in translation from Hebrew. The “Ch” in Hebrew isn’t pronounced like the “Ch” in Chef. It sounds more like a guttural, clearing your throat sound, which doesn’t easily translate into English. The letter H comes close, so the spelling was amended. Either spelling is considered appropriate!

The date of Chanukah changes each year. Why? Because it is based on the Lunar cycle. This means the first day of Chanukah can happen anytime between November 28 and December 26.

It’s tradition to gift children money during Chanukah and to donate to charities and those in need.

Latkes (pancakes made out of potatoes) and donuts (including jelly donuts!) are traditional foods enjoyed during the holiday.

Thank you to for help with the neat facts!

Free coloring page

Click to download and print this fun coloring sheet.