Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a joyous celebration commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Seleucid Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. But it’s also an opportunity to test your knowledge of this unique holiday! Hanukkah trivia can be a fun way to engage all ages, deepen your understanding of the traditions, and share some laughter during the eight-night celebration.
To add some fun and educational sparkle to your Hanukkah festivities, try testing your knowledge with some trivia.
So, Get ready for some Hanukkah fun by playing a game of trivia! Test your knowledge about Hanukkah with these simple questions. We’ve got easy ones for kids and tougher ones for those who want a challenge. Let’s see who knows their Jewish traditions best.
Table of contents
- What is Hanukkah Trivia?
- What are the Benefits of Hanukkah Trivia Questions?
- Best Hanukkah Trivia Questions and Answers (Easiest to Hardest)
- Easy Hanukkah Trivia Questions
- Medium Hanukkah Trivia Questions
- Hard Hanukkah Trivia Questions and Answers
- Tough Hanukkah Trivia Questions for Adults
- Hanukkah Trivia Questions for Kids
What is Hanukkah Trivia?
Hanukkah trivia is a series of questions and answers testing your knowledge about the history, traditions, and customs of the holiday. It can cover various aspects, such as:
The story of Hanukkah: The miracle of the oil, the Maccabees, and the rededication of the Temple.
Hanukkah traditions: Lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, eating latkes and sufganiyot, and exchanging gifts.
Historical and cultural facts: Significance of the menorah, origins of the dreidel game, famous Hanukkah celebrations.
Fun and surprising tidbits: Unusual Hanukkah traditions around the world, famous people who celebrate Hanukkah, interesting facts about latkes and sufganiyot.
What are the Benefits of Hanukkah Trivia Questions?
Learning and engagement: Trivia can be a fun and interactive way to learn about the history and traditions of Hanukkah. It encourages active participation and sparks curiosity about the holiday.
Family bonding: Trivia games are a great way to bring families together for a fun and educational activity. It creates shared memories and fosters a sense of connection during the holiday season.
Spreading knowledge: Hosting a Hanukkah trivia night can be a way to share your knowledge with friends and neighbors. It can even spark discussions about the meaning and significance of the holiday.
Lighthearted fun: Trivia doesn’t have to be serious! Include funny or surprising questions to keep the atmosphere light and playful. This adds to the festive spirit and makes learning enjoyable.
Best Hanukkah Trivia Questions and Answers (Easiest to Hardest)
Easy Hanukkah Trivia Questions
What is Hanukkah commonly known as?
Answer: The festival of lights
What does Hanukkah commemorate?
Answer: The Maccabean revolt against the Syrian-Greek army
How many nights does Hanukkah last?
Answer: 8 nights
What does the word “Hanukkah” mean?
What is Hanukkah celebration about?
Answer: The triumph of the Maccabees in reclaiming their temple after it was desecrated by Syrian-Greeks.
What is the most common spelling of Hanukkah?
Who was the Maccabean revolt against?
Answer: The Syrian-Greek army
What is the most well-known tradition of Hanukkah?
Answer: Lighting of the menorah
What is the significance of the center candle in the menorah?
Answer: It is used to light all the other candles
How many candles are in a menorah?
Answer: 9 candles
What is the significance of lighting one candle each day of Hanukkah?
Answer: To celebrate each day of the holiday
In what country is Hanukkah a national holiday?
What is the significance of the darkest time of the year during Hanukkah?
Answer: To celebrate the return of light
How does Rabbi Leonard Gordon describe Hanukkah?
Answer: A frightening celebration
How many nights did the miracle oil burn for?
Answer: Eight nights
Medium Hanukkah Trivia Questions
What activities do students participate in during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Answer: Plays, songs, parties
From where does the relay begin during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Where is the menorah usually placed during Hanukkah?
Answer: In a window or a doorway
What is the significance of the lighting of the menorah during Hanukkah?
Answer: A symbol of hope and light during the darkest time
What is the significance of the shamash in the menorah?
Answer: The center candle that sits higher than the others
What material is typically used to make the dreidel, a spinning top played with during Hanukkah?
Who were the Maccabees?
Answer: Jewish rebels
Who did the Maccabees defeat to reclaim the holy temple in Jerusalem?
Answer: Egyptian slaves
What metal is traditionally used to make the menorah used during Hanukkah?
What type of oil is used to light the candles in the menorah during Hanukkah?
Answer: Olive Oil
Why is food fried during Hanukkah?
Answer: As a symbol of the miracle oil that burned for eight nights
What does the miracle oil symbolize in Hanukkah?
Answer: The oil that burned for eight nights
What is the significance of the holy temple in Jerusalem in the Hanukkah story?
Answer: It was defiled by the Syrian-Greeks and reclaimed by the Maccabees
According to tradition, what will be followed when Moshiach comes regarding the lighting of the menorah on Hanukkah? The rulings of the House of Shammai
Answer: The placement of the menorah outside, on the left side of the door
Why do Jews play the dreidel game during Hanukkah?
Answer: For fun
What custom is commonly followed (outside of Israel) regarding the placement of the menorah during Hanukkah?
Answer: Light the menorah at a window
How is the dreidel related to Hanukkah?
Answer: Based on a German gambling game, European Jews adopted it and replaced the letters with Hebrew ones to engage with scripture. Now it is used throughout the holiday.
Where did the dreidel originally come from?
Answer: Germany and England
What letters are on the sides of the dreidel?
What type of food is traditionally fried during Hanukkah?
Answer: Any type of food
What does the chief rabbi use the torch for during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Answer: To light the first candle of a giant menorah
What is the highlight of the Hanukkah festival in contemporary Israel?
Answer: The annual relay from Modiʿin to Jerusalem
What is the origin of the annual relay during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Answer: Contemporary Israel
Why was the menorah placed to the left of the door?
Answer: Because the mezuzah is placed on the right side
Who taught to add another candle each night of Hanukkah?
Answer: The traditional custom of lighting at a window
Why do some communities prefer to light the menorah in a doorway rather than a windowsill during Hanukkah?
Answer: To surround themselves with the mitzvahs of mezuzah and the menorah, just as in ancient times
Who maintained that eight lights were lit on the first night of Hanukkah?
Answer: The House of Shammai
Hard Hanukkah Trivia Questions and Answers
What was the main reason for the menorah being moved from its original placement during Mishnaic times?
Answer: The harsh realities of the diaspora
What is the significance of the mezuzah and the menorah being placed on either side of the doorway during Hanukkah?
Answer: To surround a person with holiness
How did the mezuzah and the menorah surround a person with holiness in ancient times?
Answer: By placing the mezuzah on one side and the menorah on the other side of the doorway
Where are menorahs displayed during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Answer: On prominent buildings such as the Knesset
What is the significance of the Western Wall in the Hanukkah story?
Answer: It is the last remnant of the Temple
Who hands the torch to the chief rabbi during the relay in contemporary Israel?
Answer: The final torchbearer
What is the destination of the relay during Hanukkah in contemporary Israel?
Answer: The Western Wall in Jerusalem
What was the original placement of the menorah during Mishnaic times?
Answer: Outside, on the left side of the door leading in from the street
Tough Hanukkah Trivia Questions for Adults
Which day of the week can Hanukkah NOT begin on?
Latkes, or potato pancakes, are a traditional food served at Hanukkah. Before latkes were made of potatoes, what were they primarily made of?
How many different ways can “Hanukkah” be spelled?
Answer: There are 16 variations on the spelling of Hanukkah.
What does the word “Hanukkah” translate to?
Answer: “Inauguration” in English and “Dedication” in Hebrew
Which act is prohibited during the eight nights of Hanukkah?
Who was the first U.S. president to light a menorah?
Answer: Bill Clinton
Which oil is traditionally used to light the menorah?
Answer: Olive oil
What are the names of the Heroines of Torah Study?
Answer: Hannah and Judith
How many times is Hanukkah mentioned in the Torah?
What is the name of the astronaut who celebrated Hanukkah in outer space?
Answer: Jeff Hoffman
How tall is the national menorah in Washington DC?
Answer: 30 feet high
What is the actual name of the object Jewish people light on Hanukkah? (NOT a menorah!)
Answer: A hanukkiah, a lamp with nine branches
Some speculate that the first Hanukkah was actually a delayed celebration for what other Jewish holiday?
Hanukkah is known as The Festival of Lights. What other title is it sometimes referred to as?
Answer: The Festival of Dedication
Hanukkah Trivia Questions for Kids
How many nights does Hanukkah last?
How many blessings are said on the first night of Hanukkah?
Are the Hanukkah candles lit from right to left or left to right?
Answer: Right to left
What is the name for money given as presents during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah?
What colors are associated with Hanukkah?
Answer: Blue, white, and sometimes silver
What type of cooking is traditionally used in preparing dishes for Hanukkah?
What American holiday does Hanukkah sometimes overlap with?
Which Hanukkah toy was used as a decoy after learning the Torah was outlawed?
Answer: The dreidel
What is Shamash?
Answer: The first candle of the menorah used to light the other candles
What is the name of the round jelly doughnuts served at Hanukkah?
True or False: Gift giving is a long-standing Hanukkah tradition.
Hanukkah trivia is more than just a game; it’s a way to connect with the holiday’s history, traditions, and spirit. Whether you’re a seasoned Hanukkah expert or a curious newcomer, trivia can be a delightful way to celebrate the Festival of Lights and create lasting memories. So, gather your friends and family, light the menorah, and get ready for some Hanukkah trivia fun.