By Cheryl Fall
The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, used to play a traditional game of chance during the eight days of Hanukkah. Each side of the top features a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet - nun, gimel, hay and shin.
Players take turns spinning the dreidel, and the letter that displays on the top after each spin determines what happens next, or if the player wins gelt (usually in the form of gold, foil-wrapped chocolate coins).
The game starts with each player putting a piece of gelt into the pot, and the top is then spinned:
• If the nun symbols is displayed, the player wins nothing and the dreidel is given to the next player.
• If the shin symbol is displayed, that player adds a piece of gelt to the pot.
• If the gimel symbol is displayed, that lucky player wins the pot and takes all the gelt.
• If the hay simbol is displayed, the player only collects half the gelt.
Playing the dreidel game is a wonderful way for families to bond during the Holiday and there are other versions of the game as well. You may want to try playing a life-sized version as well!
This free hand embroidery pattern features an image of all four sides of the dreidel, along with lettering along the bottom. Remember that Hanukkah is also spelled Chanukah or Hanukah- feel free to change the lettering if desired.
The full-size jpg pattern is featured here on this page. You can easily enlarge or reduce the size to suit your needs using the photo editing software on your system.
Directions for working the pattern using basic surface embroidery stitches begins on the next page, and shows a detail of the herringbone stitch used in the center of each dreidel.