Celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev of the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights is marked by Jews all over the world in either November or December. When visiting a home where Hanukkah is celebrated, although it isn’t completely necessary to bring gifts, it is always polite to do so. Flowers are usually beautiful gifts for friends and family at this time of year, and if you are wondering what flowers are best for Hanukkah, our guide can really help.
Hanukkah lasts for eight days, and each night of the celebration a candle is lit and placed in a menorah which is a special candelabra. There are four candles on each side of a “servant” candle, which is used to light the eight candles. For eight days, prayers are said, and days are filled with joyful dancing, singing, charitable acts, and in many cases, gift-giving and receiving. The tradition of lighting candles each night for eight days comes from Judah Maccabee, and his brothers regained the Temple of Jerusalem from Antiochus. With only a little oil left in the temple, it was considered a miracle that the oil lamps continued to burn for eight days and nights when they should have extinguished long before.
There may be many visitors during this festive period, and having fresh flowers in your home is a natural way to decorate your home when waiting for the guests. Blue and white flowers are favoured during this time, and the blue iris and white roses are particularly popular. A bouquet of beautifully arranged flowers in each room will fill your home with a delightful fragrance in addition to being a great way to add touches of colour during the celebrations.
Some people choose to give gifts on each day of Hanukah, perhaps more so in families that want to combine the Christian festival of Christmas with a traditional Jewish celebration. In previous years, children would receive small token gifts such as chocolate coins, but it is now customary for larger gifts to be given. You could choose to gift flowers each day, offering a variety of blooms, or you may want to give loved ones just one impressive bouquet on the first or last day of Hanukkah. The most popular flower gifted during this celebration is the white lily. Symbolising purity, the white lily has six petals and six stamens and emits a wonderful, powerful fragrance. A bouquet of white lilies given at Hanukkah will undoubtedly be gratefully received, and it is an elegant gift that can be presented in person or carefully delivered.
Unfortunately, some flowers can present a danger to humans and animals. The pollen and petals of some flowers can aggravate allergies, and can also be fatal if ingested by small children and animals. Lilies, poinsettias and daffodils are just some of the flowers that are poisonous to animals, and it is, therefore, wise to consider the households to which you intend to send floral gifts. If you have received flowers as a gift during Hanukkah, a little online research can help determine if they are safe for your household. Keeping flowers out of the way of small children is relatively easy, but it can be more difficult for cats that like to climb shelves and jump on tables! Even if you don’t have furry animals or children in your home, if you have any kind of aquatic life, keep the flowers far from the tank as the harmful petals or pollen by inadvertently may fall in.