Hanukkah 2021 is about to start. This year’s eight-day festival starts on Sunday, November 28th and ends on Monday, December 6th.
One of the things that many Jews will do to celebrate the occasion is eating lots of oily food. In addition to fried chicken and pancakes, jelly donuts are also consumed.
This happens because the oily food serves as a reminder of the burning of the oil menorah candles in the temple when it was restored to its original state after the Three Years’ War more than 2,000 years ago.
During this time, many Jewish practices and their book, the Torah, were ostracized by the Greco-Syrian King Antiochus, so many families had to find their own way to continue practicing their beliefs.
Read more: Hanukkah 2021: What is the Dreidel game and how to play
However, when the Jews were victorious, they had to reassemble their temple and lit a menorah in the process.
Assuming that the candles would only burn for one day, they ended up burning for eight days, which meant that the oil became the symbol of that time. For this reason, fatty food is considered a reminder of this event.
However, it wasn’t always that Jews ate jelly donuts.
According to Gill Marks in his book, the Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the Israeli trade union organization Histadrut endorsed jelly donuts because they were more difficult to prepare than other foods like latkes, which meant more work was available to members to make them. It is said that companies made the jelly donuts weeks earlier, adding to the workload but also increasing satisfaction when they are eaten.
Because of this change by the union, the jelly donut has become one of the most popular Hanukkah foods in Israel.
The book says that the food is sold in virtually all bakeries in the country and enjoyed by all people regardless of their beliefs. And even outside of Israel, the jelly donut has proven popular with Jews during the Hanukkah festival.
But how do you get jelly donuts? You can buy them at a Jewish bakery or supermarket, or make them yourself. In addition to strawberry jelly, the donuts can also be made by mixing flour, sugar, milk, butter and many other ingredients.
Look around for your favorite recipe and try to make enough as it will be loved by everyone. Also, check out the dreidel game, which can be a fun activity for the whole family during Hanukkah time.