In the fine tradition of Festivus, Friendsgiving, and Galentine’s Day, Nonukah is a holiday that isn’t really one- but was invented to fill a gap. After eight full days of Chanukah, (or Hanukkah, depending on your spelling preference or ability to roll a ‘ch’) the night and day after can feel like a letdown. Nonukah means to fill that gap with a mythical ninth night and day of the Festival of Lights. There are no rules to celebrating, but rather it’s meant to give you one more day of joy.
When is Nonukah celebrated? The night and following day after the last day of Chanukah. This year that would be 12/30/19-12/31/19
Nine Suggested Nonukah Guidelines:
1. Light a candle: Or two. It’s up to you. Since Chanukah is a time for lighting a candle starting on the first night and adding one every single night until you hit the eighth night and all eight candles are lit. The tradition on Nonukah differs slightly though: Light a scented candle and enjoy the festive glow. Or maybe a Himalayan salt lamp is more your thing, it doesn’t really matter as long as you add some light to the world.
2. Gifts…for yourself: This time of year can be a frenzy of gift-giving, but instead of shopping for everyone else, Nonukah is all about you. So hit up your Amazon wish list or splurge on that Instant Pot you’ve been eyeing. Or a copy of Ancient Prayer, that’s always a great gift idea!
3. Be someone’s miracle: Chanukah is a holiday built around the premise of miracles big and small, with the most well-known being a little bit of pure olive oil that burnt for eight whole days. We all know that during the happiest moments, there are far too many people who are vulnerable and alone. So, celebrate the silliness, but check in with an elderly neighbor or your friend who’s a single mom to a learning disabled child, because miracles come in all shapes and sizes – even yours.
4. Live like a Maccabi*: You don’t have to be badass or a ninja, instead take your cue from the most underrated and underrepresented superheroes in history- The Maccabis. To put it into cultural perspective, many of us are familiar with the Jacobite rebellion after watching Outlander; The Maccabi rebellion was similar in that they were the small group of underdogs- only in this case they were victorious. When times are dark, it can be easy to cave in, but #LiveLikeAMaccabi and instead fight for what you know is right.
5. Yum: It doesn’t have to be donuts or latkes or anything associated with any other holiday for that matter, but it’s okay to indulge just a little bit on Nonukah.
6. Indulge a little: Been putting off that pedicure because your toes are buried under fleece and boots? Today’s a perfect day for a little TLC. Go for a massage or manicure, or have some whipped cream on your latte.
7. Listen to cheesy music: It’s okay if you have terrible (or excellent) taste in music, on Nonukah, the order of the day is fun. So crank up that Abba or Nine Inch Nails, if you love it- it’s perfect for today at least.
8. Cancel your plans: Skip that conference call, play hooky from work, or forget to show up to a breakfast meeting. Since Nonukah is an authentic made-up holiday, you can explain to your boss or colleagues that you needed time off to celebrate.
9. Make up your own rules: Or discard all the above suggestions and come up with your own way of celebrating!
The name behind Nonukah: Nonukah was created by marketing strategist/author/journalist/entrepreneur and all around bon vivant Rachel Weingarten AKA the Dreidel Maydel (for her ability to put a positive spin on nearly anything) after she realized that there’s no let-down that quite compares to the monumental bummer of a feeling that appears after eight nights of Chanukah merriment.
Want to chat about all things Nonukah or anything else? Feel free to drop Rachel a line firstname.lastname@example.org or use the handy dandy form below:
*In case you’re wondering what Maccabi means, there are those who believe it to be an acronym of “Mi Chamocha Ba-elim Hashem” “Who is like you the mighty O Lord?, the battlecry of Judah Maccabi and all the Maccabees. Others believe it to mean “to extinguish” since the Maccabees extinguished the Hellenic persecution of Jews, while still others believe it comes from the root of the Hebrew word meaning hammer.