Posted on December 11, 2009
Christmas gaiety may be flooding New York, but tonight marks the start of Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights that observes a day of religious freedom on the Jewish calendar. Although events abound around the city, the most noticeable, certainly, is the lighting of the giant menorah at Grand Army Plaza, 59th Street at Fifth Avenue. This being New York, a 10-foot menorah won’t do, or even a 20-foot one. No, the menorah on display clocks in at an impressive 32 feet high, and weighs two tons; it’s reputed to be the largest menorah in the world. The nightly lighting ceremonies are done by a cherry picker, and take place at approximately 4:00 pm each evening of Hanukkah. On the last night, music, singing, folk dancing, gelt (chocolate coins), potato latkes (pancakes) and jelly donuts will add to the festivities. Admission is free. Elsewhere in our fair city, another Hanukkah lighting takes place tonight at the 92nd Street Y at 4:30 PM (Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street; 212 415-5500); admission is free, and, once again, singing and dancing will prevail. And at The Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street; 212 423-3200); a Hanukkah concert is being presented on Sunday, December 13, at 2:00 PM. It features--we kid you not--the kiddie-rock interpretations of singer Shira Kline. Enjoy—and bundle up!