The Croft Magazine// By Milan Perera, Second Year, English Literature
Milan Perera looks at the history of Hunakkah and the outfits this inspires!
Though in the hierarchy of Jewish Festivals, Hanukkah does not top the list, where Passover, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are of greater importance. But out of all major Jewish Feasts, Hanukkah is the most “visible” of festivals. As it falls near December, the analogy with Christmas is inevitable. Though Hanukkah does not correspond to Christmas in shape or form, it too is often represented with a combination of colours; blue and white.
The feast of Hanukkah is a moving feast due to the using the lunar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar. It normally falls at the back end of November and the beginning of December and celebrated over eight days. The origin of the feast goes back to second century BCE where a group of Jewish warriors called the Maccabees defeating the mighty Seleucid armies as detailed in the Apocrypha. It also pertains to a miracle where a quantity of oil that was supposed to last for one day lasted eight days and hence the eight-day celebration.
Although Hanukkah does not correspond to a specific traditional outfit, rule of thumb is to use a combination of blue and white colours in your dress or outfit. Colours blue and white hold a great symbolic significance to Jewish people. As described in Cahabad.org, the Jewish prayer shawl, is customarily made in a white fabric with black stripes and one blue string. Most visible manifestation of this phenomenon is the flag of Israel.
In gents' formal attires a white shirt worn with a blue tie and blue cap marks the basic level of visibility. There is an infinite variety of designs one can try out with a blue tie. There could be stars of David or eight branched Hanukkiahs in various patterns. This theme could be extended to ladies' skirt or dress printed with Hanukkiahs and stars or David.
As with green and red Christmas jumpers, the casual wear could follow a variety of humorous captions and symbols associated with Hanukkah done in blue and white. For example, as seen in the lifestyle magazine, Elite Daily, the following captions are sure to raise a smile among friends and family.
“Keep calm and eat latkes.” - alluding to the popular British sign “Keep calm and carry on.” A latke is a type of potato pancake cooked in oil and widely consumed in the season.
Children’s casual outfits could be chosen by parents featuring dreidels and pictures of opening presents. Alternatively, children too can wear a dress or a suit in the classic Hanukkah colours of white and blue.
As far as ladies’ seasonal jewellery for the feast of Hanukkah is concerned the traditional star of David pendant could be worn alongside a Menorah pendent.
The limit of your imagination is the limit for outfit ideas!
Featured Image: Epigram/Milan Perera