Every member of the Jewish faith has fond memories of their childhood Hanukkahs. Whether it’s the steaming latkes on the dinner table, the lighting of the menorah, or the cheers of the grandparents as they win another game of dreidel – Hanukkah is one of the most exciting and fun periods in the Jewish calendar.
Speaking of games, most will agree that this is a part of the holiday that stirs up the happiest of memories. There’s nothing more entertaining than watching your tipsy uncle trying to wriggle a Hanukkah Gelt into their mouth for the seventh attempt in two minutes.
For children, especially, Hanukkah games are a way to let out some energy, put the mind to the test, and have some fun.
With this in mind, here are five of the best Hanukkah games to try out this year:
The Hanukkah Gelt Challenge
If you were confused by the tipsy uncle story, you’ve probably never played the Hanukkah Gelt challenge. This is a game that involves placing a Gelt – a chocolate coin wrapped in golden foil – onto the forehead and attempting to wriggle it down toward the mouth (without touching it!). Trust us. You’ll be treated to some pretty hilarious faces during this game, so make sure you have the camera ready.
If you’re looking to play a more traditional game this Hanukkah, then you won’t find anything more iconic than the Hanukkah dreidel. This game involves a pot of prizes – chocolate coins, nuts, matchsticks, or any of the above – and a spinning top, which decides whether you can take or give to the pot. Some say it takes skill, some say it takes luck – most will say that it takes your sanity, especially after a few dozen spins going against you.
The Cookie Creating Contest
This is a great one for the kids. It involves preparing a batch of cookies and giving out an array of decorating tools. With these tools, the kids can top their cookies with specific Hanukkah-based designs. The grown-ups are then presented with these cookies, and a designated judge decides which is the most creative. This will not only keep the kids preoccupied with busy work. It will also get them closer to the holiday itself, as they can learn more about the history of the symbols and what they actually mean.
Two Truths, One Lie
Everyone knows about this game. It’s a great way to find out a little more about your fellow guests – whether you want to or not – and test out your own acting skills. A Hanukkah edition can see your guests recalling memories of the holiday season – two truths, one lie – and the rest of you can split into groups to work out which is fiction.
The Great Hanukkah Drinking Game
When the kids are sleeping tight on a belly-full of brisket and Hanukkah Gelt, it’s time for a more adult-orientated game to really get the laughs coming in. There are a number of Hanukkah-themed drinking games out there. Or, if you’re feeling creative, you could create some of your own. Involve the dreidel in the proceedings, asking your guests to spin and then drink according to where the dreidel lands. Just beware. You don’t want to go too overboard. Games are fun, but sore heads the next morning is not!