It's almost time to take out the Mensch on a Bench and sport your holiday themed Hanukkah sweater! I'll confess, I own both. If you're old school, just stick to the menorah and spin the dreidel. Want to know when the festivities begin and where you can celebrate in Brooklyn? We've got you covered.
When is the last night of Hanukkah? When are the last of the eight candles lit? If you want to give a friend or relative a Hanukkah gift, and haven't yet, when's the last night of the holiday to do so?
For most people who are not religiously observant, the holiday feels like it ends on the last night of candle lighting. This year Hanukkah doesn't end until 2017. The first night is the evening of December 24th. Yes, you're correct that's Christmas Eve. The last night of Hanukkah is Sunday January 1st, 2017. Yes, that's New Year's Day. You can start your new year celebrating this festive holiday and welcome the new year with family as you light the menorah.
Want to celebrate in Brooklyn?
Five Fantastic Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah in Brooklyn
- Enjoy a Family Friendly Celebration at the Jewish Children’s Museum on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. The museum, where children can learn about Judaism through a series of interactive exhibits including crawling through an enormous challah in their play area or shopping in a kid-sized kosher grocery store. During the festival of lights, the Jewish Children's Museum hosts a series of family friendly events where kids can make hanukkah candles and eat doughnuts for the holiday. If you don't have enough gifts to get you through the eight days, don't forget to head to the gift shop.
- Attention all foodies! Devour delish Latkes at the Latke Festival on Monday December 19th from 6-9pm. At the festival you can sample inventive latkes from various NYC restaurants at this annual fundraiser, which raises money for the Sylvia Center. This year it's held at the Brooklyn Museum. Watch celebrity judges pick the best latke. The seventy dollar admission gets you unlimited latke tasting as well as drinks.
- Start the holiday at Grand Army Plaza where you can join others as you watch the World’s Largest Menorah get lit for the first night. I should note that Manhattan does compete for the World's Largest Menorah, with their menorah in front of the Plaza Hotel. Hopefully Brooklyn will have the World's Largest Menorah this year. In any case, it's a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah. Lighting usually starts at 6pm most evenings, with Friday’s at 3:30pm and Saturday’s at 7pm. There's a kickoff concert prior to the lighting on Hanukkah’s first night and latkes! It's a good reason to bundle up and spend the first night of Hanukkah with other Brooklynites in Grand Army Plaza.
- Runners! I bet you didn't know there was a Hanukkah themed half marathon in Brooklyn. Well there is one and it's on December 18th. NYCRUNS Running Festival of Lights offers folks a 5k or half marathon to get into the holiday spirit. After the run, they provide bagels and free Hanukkah gelt. Indulge on Hanukkah gelt as you show off your Hanukkah themed medal. The course is both flat and scenic. You will run on a running path and under the Verrazano Bridge, with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
- If you can spin a mean dreidel, you should get a two person team together and sign up to spin at Major League Dreidel at Full Circle Bar. This annual event will determine the best dreidel spinner in the land. If you can't make it, be sure to purchase a spinagogue, from the Major League Dreidel website, and you can conduct your own friendly competition at your next Hanukkah party.
Edited by Alison Lowenstein