Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sunset Dec. 8. And cities across the globe are celebrating with festivities, most focused, of course, around the lighting of the menorah. We highlight a few of the largest—literally—menorahs in the world that will be lit this year, and list other cities that will have big displays in honor of this Jewish holiday.
Lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah in New York City
On the Upper East Side, just across from The Plaza Hotel, you can watch as New York City lights one of the world’s largest menorahs in Grand Army Plaza. The gold candelabrum stands 32 feet high, and candles will be lit every evening beginning Dec. 8 at 5:30 p.m. (In honor of the Sabbath on Friday and Saturday, candles will be lit at 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively.) The Dec. 8 celebration will include live music, folk dancing and traditional snacks like sufganiyot (jelly donuts).
This year will mark the 33rd anniversary of the National Chanukah Menorah lighting just across from the White House on the Ellipse. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. on Dec. 9 and includes live entertainment from The United States Navy Band and Dreidelman and The Macabees, and features hot latkes and donuts for guests to enjoy. A new candle on the menorah will be lit every evening throughout Hanukkah.
This very special menorah-lighting ceremony takes place every night at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where, according to Jewish history, the original menorah was lit 3,300 years ago. The lighting ceremonies at The Kotel are broadcast online via webcam so followers around the world can take part in the Hanukkah celebrations.
Other cities are also marking the Jewish holiday. In London’s Trafalgar Square, a menorah will be lit on Dec. 10, at 6 p.m., and public lightings are also planned for Dec. 9 in Paris near the Eiffel Tower and at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.
Photo Courtesy of iStock-Juicybits