Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

Jerusalem Hanukkah Together Parade

I love this time of year in Jerusalem, Israel.

The Hanukkah season.

When the ground turns green with new growth, though the days are noticeably shorter and nights so much longer and colder.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah city of light

New signs pop up and line Jerusalem streets, as these for events in the Old City, City of Lights.

Jerusalem street signs for Hanukkah

For eight days, from December 2-10, Jerusalem is the place to be to celebrate Hanukkah.

Jerusalem street lights with hanukiot lit up for chanuka

This year joining those those familiar street decorations, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs sponsored something new.

Originally they said it was going to be “like a Macy’s parade.”

Big balloons, big bands, thousands of people marching through the Jerusalem streets, just like down 5th Avenue every Thanksgiving in NYC?

I went early to check out the first ever Jerusalem Hanukkah ‘Together Parade with the Jewish Diaspora’  in the Liberty Bell Park where the parade was to start.

Parade in Jerusalem on Hanukkah preparation

So happy I came in through the parking lot side, as there the balloons were getting pumped up and ready to fly through the sky.

Liberty Bell parking lot before Hanukkah parade

The parking lot was not accessible for vehicles, but perfect for sitting in the pleasant sunshine to enjoy the pre-show prep.

Dave was person who brought balloons to Israel

Dave came from the US, to oversee the technical aspects of his big balloons.

Small world.

Dave and Matt had arrived from their last parade held on Broad Street, in Richmond, VA.

Balloon at start of parade on Hanukkah

These were not the balloons from the Macy’s Parade, but the big ones were indeed big.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade marchers before walking near First Station

Thousands of students came from around Israel to march in the parade, and were waiting at the start line near First Station.

The problem was that the other people at First Station who were not marching could not get close enough to be spectators.

Ulpan group marching in Jerusalem Hanukkah parade

This parade was for togetherness, Israel and Diaspora, so what better than to have new immigrants who were learning Hebrew in Ulpan participate.

Teveria Ulpan was ready to go and honored to be the first group.

Liberty Bell park scene of Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

Major roads were closed off to vehicles and pedestrians.

Not a good way to make Jerusalem residents feel love for anyone or anything.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

Lined up and ready to roll along the Liberty Bell Park, at the 2:00 pm announced starting time.

Grandmaster of Jerusalem Israel first ever Hanukkah parade

US Ambassador David Friedman and Naftali Bennett spoke briefly.

I think Naftali Bennett had the best time, except maybe this young man in the video from Chile and his friends.

A loud popping noise, and blue and white streamers filled the sky.

Bennett and the Friedmans led the way along King David Street as Grand Marshalls.

A video is needed here to share the scene, not exactly 5th Avenue precision.

This together parade was more Israeli style than Macy’s.

Jerusalem basketball players on first float in jerusalem Hanukkah parade

But there was music and a float with Jerusalem basketball stars, including Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire.

Balloon smurf in Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade

I kept saying Snoopy by mistake, but I did like this giant smiling smurf.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade Golden Dragon

The Golden Dragon was  protected and held down by dozens of IDF soldiers.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade with Muppet Animal

The Muppets Animal was another big balloon held by uniformed soldiers.

No Sesame Street characters did I see in this parade.

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade float

Near the end of the parade was a train engine pulled by a truck with musical performers on top.

Jerusalem Israel Hanukkah parade marchers dressed as clowns giving out candy

My parade favorites were these young people in colorful dress handing out candy,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons with Israel theme

this tattooed guy, though I have no idea what to call him,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloons

these cute little balloons,

Jerusalem Hanukkah parade balloon of IDF soldier in paratrooper boot making a peace sign

and an IDF soldier in a paratrooper boot making a peace sign.

For a first ever attempt, it was fun bit of time spent on Hanukkah.

The weather in Jerusalem, Israel, was way better for a parade than New York City!

However, the parade was held when most children were in school and couldn’t come to watch.

Here is a short piece near the end of the marchers, oops, the music stopped.

Rather than being for the spectators, this event was more for those participating.

After walking the route to the Sultan’s Pool,

participants were treated to a free performance by Matisyahu.

At least I was able to hand over some candy I received from those clowns to a family arriving after it was all over to sweeten their visit to Jerusalem.

We will have to wait and see if this is to become an annual event.

Happy Hanukkah from Real Jerusalem Streets

There are so very many things happening on the Jerusalem streets on Hanukkah, will share favorites next time.

תנוכה שמח

Happy Hanukkah!

 

Hanukkah – Holiday of Lights

 Hanukkah is called Chag Ha’Urim, the Holiday of Lights.

Haunkiah at Kotel, Menorah at western Wall , Wailing Wall

 At the Kotel, the Western Wall, is one of the most famous hanukiot.

One of my favorite things in Jerusalem at this time of year

is that the usually shuttered windows at night-time

Jerusalem at Hanukkah time

are opened to show the burning candles.

oil menorahs, Jerusalem photos chanukah

 They are wide open to let the Hanukkah lights shine out to the street.

menorah in window, Jerusalem photo

At this yeshiva, there were hundreds of lights burning,

oil menorahs, Jerusalem photo tours

wow, they use a lot of olive oil.

The view in the windows upstairs in the Bet Midrash,

Menorah, Jerusalem photo tour

 revealed the main celebration.

We not only saw the light, but also heard the music on the street below.

Jerusalem photography tour, candle lighting, oil menorahs, chanukios

May the special beauty of the Hanukkah lights from Jerusalem, Israel 

spread throughout the world.

Chaukah candle lighting, Jerusalem photography tour

Chodesh tov and Shabbat shalom

decorated Hanukkah cake, a great miracle happened here, Jerusalem photography tour

Hanukkah sameach!

Happy Hanukkah!