Lighting of the Hanukkah menorah .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
For the first time in more than a decade, the first night of Hanukka will coincide with Christmas. The momentous occasion did not go unnoticed by the Tel Aviv Municipality, which has planned a variety of events for those who enjoy a little eggnog with their jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot), dubbing the celebration “Chrismukka.”
Lights will illuminate Tel Aviv Port with “dozens of clear pipes covered with shining lights with thousands of rolling balls,” according to the municipality. The instillation, which looks like Christmas lights from afar, creates “a vast Hanukka menorah that will be lit during the Hanukka nights.” The lights will be viewable from December 24 to January 1, from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
In Neveh Sha’anan, a low-income neighborhood populated largely by Tel Aviv’s African asylum-seeking community, there will be two days of festivities and light shows, in hopes of “illuminating the multicultural abundance and complexity of the neighborhood,” according to the municipality.
Music, art, light instillations, and holiday foods will mark the neighborhood festivities.
“There is a lot of culture that we as Israelis don’t have access to. A multicultural neighborhood like this is kind of new to Israel,” Yasha Rosov, artistic director and organizer of the festival, told The Jerusalem Post. “There are people from more than 30 countries living in the neighborhood, including India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Sudan, Eritrea and the former Soviet Union.”
On Saturday night, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai will light a digital hanukkia with his cellphone.
Nazareth’s famous Christmas market will also be coming to Tel Aviv and will fill Giv’on Square with a large Christmas tree, music, food, and street performances from December 27-29, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Hanukkia lightings will also take place every night of Hanukka in Rabin Square, Sarona Market, the Hatachana Complex and Habima Square.
In Jaffa, where according to Catholic tradition Jesus’s apostle Peter performed numerous miracles, a 15-meter Christmas tree is already lighting up the area around the Jaffa Clock Tower with Christmas spirit and will remain until January 20.
Also in Jaffa, the St. Nicholas Armenian Church will hold a Viennese Christmas ball on both December 16 and 30 at 8:30 p.m., and participants are invited to dress to impress.
Last but not least, Israeli Opera singers will belt their hearts out at the Jaffa Flea Market’s Winter Opera held on Fridays at 11 a.m