The Best Hanukkah Candles to Light Up All Eight Nights
The Hanukkah season celebrates a miracle of light. When the one day's supply of oil continued to light the menorah candles in the Second Temple, it was a welcome sign to the people who had fought and won against their oppressors. Origins for the story of Hanukkah can be found in the books of Maccabees I and II, which retells the captivity of the Israelites under the rule of the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Epiphanes wanted to erase their identities and their religious beliefs, but a family by the name of Maccabee led a revolution to reclaim the Temple and free Jerusalem from the Greek-Syrians. Hanukkah, which means "dedication," developed from this story. Because of the importance of the candles in the Temple, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah is also referred to as the Festival of Lights.
A menorah that has four branches on each side with one shammash candle in the center, which is used to kindle the others, one by one, on each passing night. While the menorah lighting at your synagogue is a great opportunity to gather with friends, family, and the local community, you can also celebrate Hanukkah at home with your own candle lighting rituals. And once you have the menorah, you will need a set of candles. For your family's Hanukkah celebration, a traditional set of 45 white tapers (such as the one pictured here from West Elm) will serve you will.
The best candles to include in your menorah are of the tapered variety, but you don't necessarily have to stick to traditional holiday colors of blue and silver. The delicate, elongated taper is designed to fit most menorahs, at 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter, and its shape is right for so many occasions. At nightfall Sunday, Jewish families everywhere will begin the eight-day observance of Hanukkah by lighting candles, singing songs, showering their children with gifts, and feasting on potato latkes.
Any heirloom menorah is only as beautiful as its candles. For a simple yet elegant set, opt for Simon Pearce's. Each of the 45 ivory tapers are six inches tall, made in the United States, and would pair nicely with one of his artisanal glassblown menorahs.
Shop Now: Simon Pearce Ivory Menorah Candle Set, $40, simonpearce.com.
Try this modern set befitting the Festival of Lights. For a rainbow of colors, each one of the 45 tapers in this set are hand-dipped and hand-decorated in a myriad of hues.
Shop Now: Rite Lite Premium Hanukkah Candles, in Multicolor, $18, bloomingdales.com.
The traditional colors of Hanukkah—blue and silver—resonate in the motifs of the holiday: menorahs, dreidels, and, of course, candles. Celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah with a set of slender, unscented paraffin candles crafted especially for a menorah. And with a sprinkling of glitter, they'll lend added sparkle to the season.
Shop Now: Pier 1 Menorah Taper Candles, $12, pier1.com.
This set of a dozen slim tapers are hand-dipped by a San Francisco workshop specializing in Old World candle-making techniques. Formed of solid paraffin, the 1/2-inch diameter candles produce a beautifully consistent flame that burns without smoking or dripping.
Shop Now: Williams Sonoma Tiny Taper Candle Set, in Rust, $15, williams-sonoma.com.
You can never go wrong with simple white tapered candles, and there's enough here for your entire family for all eight nights of Hanukkah. Cast a soft warm glow in your room or at the dinner table.
Shop Now: CB2 White Menorah Candles, $13, cb2.com.
Adding a warm glow to your holiday, traditional candles are made from premium organic vegetable wax with cotton wicks. Each is hand-dipped by skilled artisans.
Shop Now: Rite Lite Organic Hanukkah Candles, $15, abchome.com.
Fredericks and Mae
These hand-dipped beeswax candles are delivered from an Orthodox candle maker in Greece. The cotton wicks consist of a bundle of fibers that are braided together—more than enough portioned out for each night of Hanukkah.
Shop Now: Fredericks and Mae Braided Paraffin Candle Set, $52, fredericksandmae.com.
Can you find hand-dipped candles that are virtually smokeless and dripless? This set of tapered candles is exactly what you need. You can choose from ivory, metallic silver or pearl/sapphire for your menorah. (Oh, and did we mention it's one of Martha's secret sources?)
Shop Now: Creative Candles Hanukkah Taper Candles, in Metallic Silver, $56.75, creativecandles.com.
Crate and Barrel
Hand-dipped candles, in two tones of blue and cream, have an intriguing rustic finish. This set of 45 candles will provide plenty of candlelight for all eight nights of Hanukkah.
Shop Now: Crate and Barrel Blue Ombre Menorah Candles, $15, crateandbarrel.com.
The bottom half of each candle is a beautiful pastel color: blue, green, orange, pink and purple. They are also hand-dipped, petroleum free and have a 100 percent cotton wick.
Shop Now: Rite Lite Hand-Dipped Beeswax Hanukkah Candles, in Multi-Color, $20, papersource.com.