Arts & Culture Cities Holiday Travel

Happy Hanukkah: Celebrations Around the World

Celebrate the Festival of Lights, which commemorates the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Make the most of the spirit of Hanukkah and celebrate the Festival of Lights, which commemorates the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Here are some of our favorite public Hanukkah celebrations across the world.

New York City

world largest menorah at grand army plaza in brooklyn

In Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, across the street from The Plaza Hotel, onlookers watch as the World’s Largest Menorah (clocking in at 32 feet high and 4,000 pounds) is lit after sundown. In Brooklyn, head to Prospect Park to see a similarly giant menorah that’s lit each night of Hanukkah.

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Jerusalem Old City, Israel

Traditional menorahs (hanukkah lamps) with olive oil candles, placed near the entrance, in jewish quarter,

During Hanukkah, traditional menorahs with olive oil candles are often placed near the entrances of homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The annual Torch Relay, in which people line the road and pass a flame that will eventually light the menorah at the Western Wall, marks the beginning of the festival.

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Madrid, Spain

A young girl and the luna alfon (r), director of ibn gabirol estrella toledano school, lighting candles during hanukkah celebration

Madrid has been home to a Jewish community since the ninth century. Each year since 2008, city officials and members of the Jewish community celebrate the Hanukkah Festival of Lights with the lighting of candles, music, and food.

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Berlin, Germany

Hanukkah menorah at pariser platz (paris' square) in front of brandenburg gate night

Berlin lights the Hanukkah menorah at Pariser Platz in front of Brandenburg Gate, in the same area where anti-Semitic rallies were held before and during World War II.  This is the Europe’s largest menorah, at a height of 33 feet.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

By Dara Continenza

Dara Continenza has been exploring the world and writing about it since 2010. Her writing has appeared on Hopper, SmarterTravel, USA Today, Money, U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo, Business Insider, TripAdvisor, Huffington Post,, and others.

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