Blue and silver have become the most popular colors for Hanukkah celebrations, although the holiday does not have any traditional colors with which it is associated. Blue is often associated with the Israeli flag on which the stripes symbolize those found on tallits (Jewish prayer shawls worn at synagogue or other Jewish ceremonies). As for pairing blue with silver, it most likely comes from merchandising and marketing as it has a wintry feel, and is more festive and adds more sparkle than plain white. Similar to the proliferation of red and green for Christmas, the thought is why not make “Hanukkah colors” to represent the holiday? Other colors have crept into Hanukkah’s fold including yellow and gold to represent the candle’s flames and Hanukkah gelt (coins). In fact, the color orange was once associated with Hanukkah as the candles came only in that color. The candles of today are more often found in a variety of colors and styles. Whatever the origin of blue and silver, the combination certainly makes a dazzling look for any Hanukkah celebration.
A quick history of Hanukkah
Hanukkah, (spelled alternatively as Chanukah, among others, due to its Hebrew transliteration) is known as the Festival of Lights. It is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its destruction by the Greeks in the 2nd century BCE (BC). This was after the Maccabbean revolt led by Judah that successfully vanquished the invaders. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days and may occur at any time from late November to late December. The festival is observed by the lighting of the Menorah. This is significant in that in the destruction of the Temple, there was only one day’s worth of oil, but it burned for eight days.
Blue and Silver Hanukkah Party Invitations
Although dwarfed by the plethora of Christmas and holiday party invitations, there has been an increase in Hanukkah party stationery lines as designers expand their invitation collections. While an e-invite or a quick phone call does the trick, going the extra mile with a lovely printed invitation makes a lasting impression. All the gorgeous invitations and postage stamps below adhere to the blue and silver Hanukkah theme.
The key to a glimmering blue and silver Hanukkah party lies in the decorations. The possibilities are endless and readily available in most party stores, retailers or online vendors. Options include crepe paper, paper lanterns in blue and silver, streamers, Hanukkah buntings or even mylar balloons in blue and silver.
The most important element of any Hanukkah celebration is the lighting of the menorah, a nine-branched candelabra after nightfall. The nine-branched Hanukkah menorah is different from the seven-branched menorah that is a symbol of Judaism and the emblem of the modern state of Israel. The elements of the menorah are eight candle holders, plus the tallest (or sometimes lowest) candle known as the shamash and is used to light the others. Although there are infinite selections for menorahs, for one to be authorized to be used on Hanukkah, the eight candles must be arranged in a straight line. The menorah can be a simple, yet sentimental piece made by a child or a grand display in shimmering sterling silver with elegant candles.
Although many have a family menorah, it may not fit your blue and silver theme. There are countless ways to make a hand-made Hanukkah menorah fit the celebration.
- Using a serving tray, adhere decorative paper on the bottom. Spray paint a wooden block with silver or blue glitter paint. Finish by attaching candle holders to the block.
- Flex your creative muscles and get inspiration from nature by selecting a small, but sturdy branch. Drill nine holes in the branch and spray-paint it silver. Just add white, silver or blue candles.
To get started with decorating, download this free blue and silver Hanukkah bunting printable. Print on a color printer, trim along the edges and fold the top over a string and attach. It comes with enough letters to spell out “Happy Hanukkah” (or even “Chanukah”). Hanukkah icons such as a dreidel and menorah are also included in the downloadable pdf. (Please note: the glitter shown on this printable is not real glitter, but a visual effect)
Download this free Blue and Silver Hanukkah Bunting to Print
The Hanukkah Table
With a little effort the table for a Hanukkah party can continue the blue-and-silver Hanukkah theme cost-efficiently whether it is a sit-down affair or buffet-style.
- Arrange antique or silver dreidels in a beautiful basket or vase.
- Place individual dreidels on each plate with a name tag attached to make a fun place card. Guests can take them home after spinning them around the table (and hopefully not spinning them onto someone else’s plate!).
- Coat wooden dreidels in clear-drying white glue, sprinkle with glitter and arrange in a large glass container.
- Scatter silver gelt around the table and use glittery placecards to write guest’s names with a blue or silver “Sharpie” marker.
The traditional foods for Hanukkah are fried in oil, a reference to the miracle of the oil which Hanukkah celebrates and include potato latkes (fried potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Cheese and other dairy foods are also customary to eat during the holiday as it commemorates the biblical story of Judith who used cheese to defeat the Greek general, Holofernes.
The Sweet Stuff
In addition to the aforementioned sufganiyot; marshmallow dreidels, chocolate gelt, rugelach, chocolate pretzels, cake pops, and Hanukkah themed cookies are fun and delicious choices. Given that the holiday is traditionally celebrated with foods fried in oil, Hanukkah cakes aren’t common, but given the incredible cakes bakers have designed there’s no reason not to include one, if you are so inclined to do so. Or feature a Hanukkah candy buffet with bowls of blue Jordan almonds, chocolate kisses, lollipops, etc. Make sure to include individual pieces of fruit or a fruit salad as a healthier alternative to all the oil of Hanukkah foods.
If there will be children in attendance, games and activities are essential. Foremost, gather guests around to light the Menorah together if the party is before sundown. Hanukkah music sets a festive tone to the party so include traditional Hanukkah songs such as “Oh Dreidel, Dreidel” or “Ma’oz Tzur” on your playlist to get guests singing along. Contemporary songs such as Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” are also a must-have. Dreidel is a game of chance that both children and adults can enjoy. Other games and activities can be a Hanukkah Trivia contest, Connect 4 using different colored Hanukkah gelt or Pin the Candle on the Menorah for the youngest children. Set up a Hanukkah craft station so that kids can make their own Hanukkah cards, menorahs or other decorations.
Send guests off with favors. A silver or metallic blue mesh bag of gelt, marshmallow dreidels, Hanukkah cookies, a dreidel or stationery items in blue and silver lets your guests extend the celebration at home. box takeout containers emblazoned with a special customized Hanukkah sticker make a fun and memorable container. Another option is a small personalized gift box wrapped in customized Hanukkah wrapping paper. The choices are only limited by your imagination.
Stickers, Wrapping Paper and other favors
A Hanukkah party is a wonderful reason for family and friends to be together as the year winds down. It is a time to relish each others company, watch candles flicker, spin a dreidel or two and consider the presence of miracles in our lives.
Thank you to these following sites for their photographs:
Ilene Sternbach Aldridge is the designer and owner of Star Stream Design, an independent design firm specializing in paper goods, gifts and apparel for any occasion. From weddings to graduations to holiday parties to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah, we pride ourselves in the wide variety of styles and occasions for which we design. Through a number of Print-on-Demand sites and Etsy, most of our products are customizable in some way. It's smart design, customized by you.