If you’re looking for somewhere special in the UK to mark Hanukkah, the Jewish tradition also known as the Feast of Dedication and Festival of Lights, then London is just the place.
The capital embraces all cultures and always has something going on for the eight-day celebration, which dates back nearly 2,500 years.
Beginning on the 25th night of the Jewish month of Kislev – falling on November 27th this year – Hanukkah consists of lighting a candle in a menorah on each night of the festival.
It represents the ancient tale of the Jews who tried to rededicate their temple following a successful revolt against Alexander the Great. They only had enough oil to burn a flame for one day, but somehow the fuel lasted for eight.
Some traditional activities that take place throughout Hanukkah include eating foods fried in oil and playing games with a dreidel (a four-sided spinning top).
London comes alive during the celebration, with special events taking place at the Jewish museum and New London Synagogue, besides many other venues.
In Trafalgar Square, a giant menorah is lit every year and you can expect a fantastic atmosphere mingling with members of Jewish communities and Londoners from all walks of life and faiths. The lighting of the gigantic structure will begin on November 27th.
It is also a great opportunity to combine a stay in one of the many fabulous central London hotels near the famous square with a cultural activity that showcases the capital’s diversity and brilliance.
For the kids, there is a special Hanukkah fair taking place at the London Jewish Cultural Centre on November 24th, where there will be refreshments served and hands-on activities organised for children of all ages, including face-painting, a magic masterclass, candle making and doughnut decorating.