We love celebrating Hanukkah and the menorah is an important part of our observance of this beautiful eight-day Biblical festival. Each year, for over a decade, my family has built our own DIY Menorahs. Lego® ones are super easy and most families have some Legos around (literally!) Let us teach you how to build a Lego menorah!
First, before we learn how to build a Lego Menorah, we need to start with the holiday and why we celebrate it.
What is Hanukkah?
I have heard people describe Hanukkah as the “Jewish Christmas.” It is not. The word “Hanukkah” means dedication in Hebrew and is the Festival of Lights. Josephus, a first century historian, described Hanukkah as the Festival of Light also. It is actually mentioned in the Bible in John 10:22-23, Jesus is at the Feast of the Dedication. This is where He affirms that He is the Son of God.
Hanukkah is celebrated each year and is in remembrance of a historical event that took place around 165 BC involving the Maccabees, a family of devoted Jews. The Maccabbes revolted against Antiochus Epiphanes and an oppressive empire. Antiochus tried to force the Jewish people to abandon their religion and impose the worship and honor of pagan gods. Antiochus desecrated the temple in Jerusalem by sacrficing pigs on the alter. The Maccabbes won, against all odds, and they reclaimed their temple.
They began the process of purifying the temple, tearing down the altar, and running off the Greek soldiers. The story goes that as they were purifying the temple, they only had enough of the specially prepapred oil to light the Menorah for one night. God provided a miracle and allowed the oil to last for eight days, until more could be produced. If you want to read the details about the Maccabbean revolt, you can find them in I and II Maccabees. (Warning moms, it is a pretty hard read. I recommend you read it – or listen below, I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post – before sharing it with your children.)
Menorah or Hanukkiah
Technically, a menorah is a seven-branched candelabrum, and a hanukkiah is a nine-branched one. The hanukkiah is sometimes also called a Hanukkah menorah. The hannukiah (or Hanukkah menorah) is the version used for Hanukkah.
Each evening we light an additional candle, until the last night, when we light all the candles that evening. The taller candle in the middle is called the Shamash candle (more on it below.) Each candle symbolizes one night of the eight-day celebration known as Hanukkah.
Hanukkah Applies to Christians
Menorah, in Hebrew, means lamp. In Psalms 119 verse 105 tells us that the Word (the Bible) is a lamp for our feet to guide us in God’s ways. According to Jewish tradition, there is a certain way to place the candles and a certain way to light the candles. When standing in front and looking at the Hanukkiah, you place the candles from right to left. However, you light the candles from left to right. It reminds me of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 20:16 about the first being last and the last being first.
In addition, the Shamash candle means servant candle. It is used to light the other candles each evening. The Bible regularly refers to God’s Word and ways as being the light. Even more important, in John 8:12, Jesus states that He is the Light to the World. Further, those who follow Him are said to walk in the light and those who don’t are in darkness.
Can you see why we believe celebrating Hanukkah can actually be a beautiful time of worship of our Savior? So let’s get to building your first Hanukkah menorah!
How to Build a Lego Menorah
Before you start building your Lego menorah, gather the pieces. If you don’t have enough gray pieces, it’s fine to substitute other colors.
At the end of this post you will find a link to download a PDF with the supplies list and visual instructions.
Materials you will need:
- 9 dragon flames
- 27 white round 1×1 bricks
- 6 grey 1×12 bricks
- 2 grey 1×6 bricks
- 2 grey 1×4 bricks
- 2 grey 2×3 bricks
- 18 grey 2×2 bricks
- 2 grey 2×2 roof tiles with 45º angle
- 12 grey round 2×2 plates
- 2 grey 2×2 roof tiles with 45º inversion
- 4 grey 2x2x3 roof tiles with 73º angle
You can see each step in the pictures below.
I would actually go ahead and put the “unlit candles” in place (from right to left). Then, “light” the Shamash candle (the center tall candle). Each night, starting from the left and moving to the right, light another candle.
On the last day, your menorah will look like this.
We built a different Lego Menorah several years ago that is a little less complicated.
I hope you enjoyed this short study about Hanukkah and why my family celebrates the Hanukkah festival (and the Biblical feasts) including the Sabbath! Feel free to leave a message below if you have questions for me.
Share with your friends how you built a Lego menorah. Then, share with them the history of Hanukkah.
Here are several other DIY Menorahs for your family to create:
Need a project that is an easier Hannukah Menorah to try? Here is an adorable one:
This Hanukkiah we made when my children were teenagers and we did several different variations.
Finally here are a few pictures of different ones we have made throughout the years.
After learning about Hanukkah, the history, some of the traditions, and learning how to build a Lego menorah, you might want to enjoy some of these recipes and Hanukkah-related activities alongside your Lego menorah project.