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December is quite the season for celebrations. On Tuesday, December 12, Hanukkah begins at sundown. This is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights”, which is celebrated nightly with a menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods. But what is this “festival of lights”? We thought we’d share with you a little more about this Jewish holiday.

The Festival of Lightshanukkah cookies
At the heart of this festival is the nightly menorah lighting. According to the website chabad.org, the menorah holds nine flames, one which is used to kindle the other eight lights. On the first night of the celebration, just one flame is lit. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Hanukkah, all eight flames are lit. Before the menorah is lit, special blessings are recited and traditional songs are sung afterward.

What a menu!
The menu Hanukkah contains foods like potato pancakes, jam-filled donuts covered in powdered sugar, fried apple fritters and cheese-filled donuts. The origins of these food traditions go back to the years that the holiday was first celebrated and are meant to be reminders of certain miracles associated with Hanukkah.

Although Ashley’s Pastries doesn’t serve up latkes (potato pancakes), we can help if you’re planning a Hanukkah celebration. We bake  challah, and offer an assortment of cakes and cookies for your celebration.We are happy to prepare something special for you – just give us a call at 937-293-1719 to place your order.

challah breadWant to get cooking?
Interested in trying your hand at a traditional Jewish dish? There are lots of websites and resources out there that include recipes for many treats for Hanukkah. We found a recipe to try for potato latkes that looks like it would work whether you’re a seasoned pro or still learning your way around the kitchen.

From all of your friends here at Ashley’s Pastries, we wish you a very Happy Hanukkah!