How many candles do we need for our Channukiah on Channuka?

my Menorah

Photo credit: nonnygoats / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The festival of Channukah is eight days long. For each of the eight days, we light a candle in the Channukiah – one on the first day, two on the second day, three on the third etc. Sounds simple, right? Well, yes and no.  After each night the candles, which were lit on this night, will have burnt out and will need to be replaced on the next night. This adds up to a lot of candles over the eight days of Channukah. We also must not forget the candle which is used to light the other candles each night. This is called the shamash.

So here lies our problem, how many candles do we need to buy for our Channukah celebration so that we have enough to light the correct amount of candles each night and have a new shamash each night?

Help younger children solve the problem by using materials to model it and to generate a solution. Older children can explore the idea of triangular numbers which emerges.

Happy Channukah!