Really busy time on the Jerusalem, Israel streets,
so many visitors, so many parties, and so much to do.
But I stopped and watch a bit
as they again put up the large hanukkiah near Jaffa Gate.
Shabbat shalom and Hanukkah Sameach!
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.
It can be spelled differently in English every year,
but the Hanukkah season in Jerusalem is very consistent.
There are 10 sure signs that Hannukah is on its way.
1. The piles of sufganiot in all bakeries
begin to disappear at an astonishing rate.
2. Street decorations are up
and lit up at night.
3. Hanukkah menorahs are placed in public spaces and on roof tops.
This one is on top of the entrance to Bet Hanasi, the President’s official residence.
4. Dreydels and spinning tops of all sizes and colors
and shapes can be are for sale everywhere.
5. Shopping mall aisles are filled with sweet treats.
6. At nursery schools adults are sitting on little chairs with their children,
as families race from one child’s holiday performance to the next.
7. Shoppers fill the malls
and go to Machane Yehuda Market, the Shuk, where…
8. Strawberries are in season
and ready to taste.
9. Citrus fruits are at their peak color and flavor,
but more unusual tropical fruits are also offered for those special occasions.
And 10…you know Chanukah is here when,
the signs on the crowded buses change to Hanukkah Sameach.