I buy Chanukah candles at a reduced price after the holiday and use them year-round for birthday candles. They look so much cooler than regular candles - especially if you can find the multi-colored ones.
By Britt from Boston, MA
Editor's Note: Chanukah starts on December 21, 2008
Chag Chanukah Samech! FYI Chanukah candles are only used light the Chanukah Menorah. And should not be used on a birthday cake.
Not exactly, Britt. Chanukah candles are just candles. Only when they go into the chanukiyah (the nine-branched menorah, or candelabra specifically designated for Chanukah) do they become special at all. Any candles can be used for Chanukah, as well, from tea lights to votive candles, as long as they're large enough to stay lit for at least an hour after sundown. In my family we use olive oil in cups designed to fit in the chanukiyah, and we get that oil from the same bottle we use when cooking or making salads.
The thing you can't use Chanukah candles for (once they're in the menorah and lit) is anything utilitarian, like checking your fingernails, or reading, or sewing. But the shamash candle (the one used to light all the others) can be used for those purposes.
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