How To Celebrate a Vegan Hanukkah

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Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights, celebrated for eight nights. The theme surrounding the holiday is hope—as it was a miracle that oil lasted for eight days to keep the light burning so the Jews could rebuild their Temple. It is traditional to eat foods fried in oil, play dreidel, and exchange gifts during this time. Celebrating a vegan Hanukkah is easy! Below are 6 ways to make sure your festivities are cruelty-free.

1. Make vegan latkes

Latkes are a very traditional food eaten during the holiday’s 8 days, and are commonly made with eggs and shredded potatoes. Taking the egg out of latkes never tasted better. Recipes for vegan latkes abound! Some of my favorites are:

With eight days to experiment, you can try many varieties including sweet potato, zucchini and beets!

2. Give guilt-free gelt

It is customary to play dreidel with chocolate gold coins. Make sure they are milk free with this vegan gelt option from Pangea.

3. Share vegan love (give cruelty-free gifts)

Spread kind and compassionate holiday cheer on each of Hannukah’s eight nights with compassionate gifts. You can find lots of ideas in the World of Vegan holiday gift guide!

4. Shine your light beeswax-free

To reenact the story of the oil burning for 8 nights, we light a candle in the menorah each evening. Make sure your candles are beeswax-free with some like these from GoodLight Natural Candles.

5. Eat vegan jelly doughnuts

Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) are a traditional food eaten during Hanukkah. Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero have a great recipe for Jelly Donut Cupcakes in their cookbook, “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World,” while Mayim Bialik’s “My Vegan Table” has a delicious sufganiyot recipe.

6. Be generous (tikkun olam)

Giving tzedakah (charity) is a common theme at any Jewish holiday, but especially during this holiday where we give as well as receive. Celebrate a vegan Hanukkah by donating to your favorite nonprofit organizations that are helping make the world a kinder place, such as Farm Sanctuary, Mercy For Animals, and Vegan Outreach.

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