12/11/2009

1st Night of Hanukkah / Chanukah... 2009

On the old site, I used to do something to celebrate Hanukkah (Channukah, חנוכה). Last year, I revived the tradition by presenting 8 days of Mathieu gifts for the 8 days of the holiday. This year, I thought I'd pick a key part of the holiday (a tradition, a symbol, something of historical significance) to share... and connect it in some way to Mathieu.

So, with that said... I present to you gift number 1:


The story of Hanukkah is long. It involves people fighting, temples being destroyed, and the Jewish people, despite being outnumbered, eventually coming away with the victory. After winning the long battle, the Jewish people rededicated their Temple (desecrated during the fight) on the 25th day of the month of Kislev. (that happens to be today, if you didn't figure that out; the Hebrew calendar being lunar based explains why it moves around on "our" calendar every year)

Here are some significant instances of the number 25 for Mathieu:

It was one of the many jersey numbers he's worn (with the NY Rangers, 1998-1999)
Mathieu was traded for the first time when he was 25
His eldest son was born when we has 25
He recorded his first goal as an Atlanta Thrasher on October 25, 2008
He played his first game as a Vancouver Canuck a year later, on October 25, 2009
He had 25 penalty minutes in the 1989-1990 season
25% of his points came from goals in 1991-1992 (he's averaged about 28%)
He scored his 25th goal the 1991-1992 season

An aside: For those who are interested, here is a neat "what you need to know about Hanukkah" story from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: Spinning Tales: A Hanukkah Primer. And don't laugh at the graphic. That was the first animated gif I ever made, back in 1997 or so (using Claris Works clip art and a semi-legal copy of Photoshop). It was hot stuff at the time. =) And special thanks to Spencer for his advice and Hebrew spellings of things.

1 comment:

Vanya Tucherov said...

Chag Chanukah, Sarah (and Mathieu, and a lineage of Jewish hockey players running back to Cecil Hart)!