Friday, December 10, 2010

Festival of Lights

The last night of Chanukah was quite the celebration all over the city. Fully lit menorahs could be seen in every window across town, celebratory music was playing in pockets throughout the city, and men and women could be seen bursting into song and dance. Eager to see the festivities, I headed to the Jaffa gate (the gate that welcomes you into the old city walls) where I would be able to watch the largest menorah lighting celebration in the entirety of Jerusalem. Afterward, I would be able to stroll into the old city to do a "menorah walk". There was only one problem: I forgot my camera. I know, I know. I'm sorry guys. I can't tell you how many times a day I see something that I want to bring to the blog world, and I don't have a camera and video recorder with me at that moment. Just today, I saw the most amazing Bar Mitzvah parade, the biggest and wildest I have ever seen, that can only be compared to the chaotic and exhilarating grand entrance at a traditional Indian wedding. I am determined to capture another Bar Mitzvah parade for your viewing pleasure. In my quest to capture just a few of the leftover details from the last night of Chanukah, I headed back to the area, as it was the last day that the lights and decorations would be up. It doesn't quite catch the mood; it's like going to see the remnants leftover from the NYE celebration in Times Square, but hey, it's at least a peek into the setting.

This area was completely jam-packed with people and the celebratory spirit  
Here you could see festive and loud 'hora' dancing through the night 
The streets here were full of people blowing noise blowers like on NYE
Some leftover Chanukah lights and a grand menorah perched up high
Another view of the busy thoroughfare 
Hanging lights lit up the entrance to the area
The entrance to Mamilla was abuzz with people, music, lights and a whole lot of noise
Aha! I've found some leftover sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) from the Chanukah festivities
I couldn't leave the old city without a visit to the Western Wall

Again, although it doesn't capture exactly my personal experience, you can feel a little bit of the festive mood in the video below. It's a sideways view, so beware! I found this on YouTube and I believe it takes place on either the 4th or 5th night of Chanukah. You will see the Chabad men dancing up a storm in celebration of lighting the  large menorah near Jaffa Gate. Watch this, and imagine it times 10, and you will have a vision of what the final Chanukah celebration was like! People in Israel sure like to celebrate their holidays and milestones! 


  1. I sooooo wish I was there for this! Sounds and looks amazing!

  2. We wish YOU were here too! Seriously!!!


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