Winter Candelabras: Answer Time!

So, how do you think you did on last Sunday’s quiz? If you missed it, see Winter Candelabras: Quiz Time at and see how much you know about candelabras used in special winter holiday celebrations, like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Here are the answers, and a few interesting facts!

1. How many candles are in a Swedish candelabra?

  • Often 5 or 7, but I own one with three candles and have seen some with four. Large candelabras may have even more than seven. There isn’t any particular significance attributed to the number of candles.

2. How many candles are in a hanukkiya (Hanukkah candelabra)?

  • There are nine candles: Eight candles signify the eight days of Hanukkah, and a candle in the center that is used for lighting the other candles, one per day. The new candle is always lit first, until eventually, they all burn together.

3. How many candles are in a kinara (Kwanzaa candelabra)?

  • There are seven candles.

4. Which candelabra’s candles symbolize miracles that took place in 165 BC?

  • Hanukkah: After a group of rebellious Jews defeated the Greeks and took over the temple in Jerusalem, they found a small container of oil–enough to light the temple menorah (a ceremonial candelabra) for one day. The oil lasted for eight days and is celebrated as one of the miracles of Hanukkah. Defeating the Greeks with just a small number of people is considered another, according to the book, Traditions: The Complete Book of Prayers, Rituals, and Blessings for Every Jewish Home, by Sara Shendelman and Dr. Avram Davis.

5. Which candelabra is NOT used to help celebrate a religious holiday?

  • Kwanzaa. This celebration was established to help rebuild a cultural identity for African Americans, whose African cultures had been stripped from them when they became slaves.

6. Which candelabra includes a candle that is used only to light the other candles?

  • Hanukkah (the central candle, called the Shamash).

7. Which candelabra is the only one to be lit all at once?

  • The Swedish candelabras are often electric and so are lit all at once, and the candleholders with real candles are also lit all at one time. (The exception to this would be if the candelabra is used to celebrate Advent, in which case there would be one new candle lit each Sunday of Advent and the last candle lit on Christmas Eve, to celebrate Christ’s birth).

8. Which candelabra’s candles are red, black, and green?

  • Kwanzaa. There are three red, three green, and a black candle in the center.

9. Which candelabra’s candles have symbolic meaning based on their color?

  • The only candelabra that I could find with specifically-mentioned symbolism based on the color of the candles is the Kwanzaa candelabra. The red candles symbolize the blood shed for freedom, the black candles represent the black color of their skin, and the green candles are intended to call to mind the “fertile land of Africa.” Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa also represent a value in the African American community, such as unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, creativity, etc, and each element of the celebration (a cup, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, a mat, ear of corn, and gifts, for example) carries symbolic meaning as well (“Infoplease Article.” Fact Monster. © 2000–2013 Pearson Education, publishing as Fact Monster.
    30 Jan. 2014

10. What game is often played while Hanukkah candles are burning?

  • Dreidl, which is a four-sided top. Each side of the dreidl is marked with a Hebrew initial. Depending on which initial the top lands on, the player has to take some, all, or none of the chocolate coins that they are playing with. The Hebrew spells out the words, “A great miracle happened here” (in Israel), or “A great miracle happened there,” if the game is played elsewhere (From Celebrations! from Barnabas and Anabel Kindersley).

Thanks for playing! Are you ready to amaze your friends with your knowledge next year? It’s time for me to brush up on Tet, a Vietnamese celebration that my students have celebrated this weekend! They are hoping for lots of red envelopes! Do you know what might be inside?

About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
This entry was posted in Being a Good Neighbor, Diversity, Holidays and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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