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Top 10 Traditional Holiday Decor Items (and Where they Came From)

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Dreidels

Dreidels are used in a traditional game that has become a fun part of Hanukkah tradition.
Dreidels are used in a traditional game that has become a fun part of Hanukkah tradition.
Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Thinkstock

"Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay…" Thanks to its namesake song, many know of this traditional Hanukkah toy, but its origins and use may be a mystery to some. A driedel is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side, representing the phrase "a great miracle happened here." It's designed to commemorate the eight-day lighting of the menorah at the Jerusalem Temple that is the central miracle behind the holiday.

The dreidel is used in a traditional Hanukkah game. Players spin the top, and the letter showing when it stops determines whether they win chocolate coins or other "currency" from a central pot. The wrong spin can leave a player paying into the pot, while a lucky turn could have the player celebrating with handfuls of candy.

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