Lights in the Square
In some Jerusalem neighborhoods, Chanukah is celebrated
with eight nights of singing and dancing in public areas.
Following two wet and rainy evenings…for the seventh candle,
on Monday night, December 26, 2011,
the weather was perfect in Mamilla Mall.
Men were dancing to the live music,
but everyone tried to stay clean as they ate the sufganiot.
The official Jerusalem Chanukah celebration
‘Or Bekikar’, ‘Light in the Square’ was held in Kikar Safra, Safra Square
on the seventh night of Chanukah.
The program began with the lighting of the Chanukiah and blessings.
However, this festival of light had little to do with the holiday;
it was a light show with loud music.
Traditional Chanukah characters were missing.
Actors from the Mystorin Theatre Group circulated in the crowd,
while illuminated characters entertained from above.
Hundreds of people partied
and posed for pictures
with the entertainers.
A female singer was the opening act on the large stage and
performers with lit torches juggled them from special small stages.
Still more characters kept coming.
Electrical wiring strung for the evening almost caused an accident,
but audience members rushed to help and were ready
for the next character who was able to avoid a collision.
Lots of color and light filled Safra Square,
and DJs kept the music going during breaks in the live music.
It was especially nice to see that the event was accessible to the disabled.
The night air was getting cooler, so by the time the next performer
and the headline band came on stage,
the glowing heaters were really appreciated by the crowd.
The audience was a mix of all ages and populations in Jerusalem.
Thousands of people were celebrating in public squares and streets
all around Jerusalem on the seventh night of Chanukah
…that was what was really happening.