Tomorrow, at sundown, marks the beginning of the Festival of Lights or Hanukkah (or Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka). By most standards, this is not a significant holiday for those who practice Judaism, but it is fun for the kids — oh and the latkes! (Until this morning, I did not know that it’s traditional to eat fried food during this holiday, to commemorate the miraculous oil that lasted eight days and eight nights. Learn something new every day.)
In honor of Hanukkah, I bring you some numbers that are important to this holiday. Enjoy!
6.6 million: Estimated Jewish population in the U.S. in 2011
2.1: Percent of the entire U.S. population in that year
8: Days and nights of Hanukkah, and number of days that a one-day supply of oil miraculously burned during the time of the rededication of the temple by the Maccabees.
25: The day of the Jewish month of Kislev, on which Hanukkah is celebrated each year
9: Including the shammus — or service — candle, number of candles in a menorah
3: Number of blessings recited during the first night of Hanukkah
2: Number of blessings recited during all other nights of Hanukkah
30: Minimum number of minutes the Hanukkah candles should burn each night
44: Total candles lit (including the shammus) over all eight days.
4: Number of Hebrew letters inscribed on a dreidel
92: Approximate number of years that American chocolatiers have been making chocolate gelt.
4: Number of potatoes required for Debbie Koenig’s most delicious latke recipe. (My favorite one I’ve ever tried!)
19: Number of celebrities mentioned in Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song.
2: Number of these who are not Jewish
What other numbers are important to Hanukkah? Share them in the comments section.