How Beautifully Hanukkah is Celebrated across the World?

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival that commemorates the rededication during the 2nd century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. So, Hanukkah is all about celebrating that anniversary of the Maccabean revolt to reclaim the temple. After reclaiming the temple the Maccabees did not have enough oil to light up the lanterns of the temple. But unbelievably a small flask/bottle of oil helped to sustain light for 8 days and nights. These 8 days were long enough to bring fresh oil.

Hanukkah actually means "dedication" in Hebrew. It starts on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. This festival is also known as the festival of lights. People celebrate it by lighting up the menorah, relishing on traditional food, spending time with their family members, playing various fun games, and exchanging gifts.

How Beautifully Hanukkah is Celebrated across the World?

Read below and know how varied traditions people have across the world to celebrate Hanukkah:

United States of America:

At least 51% of the Jewish population of the world stays in the USA and that means the celebration here is “not to be missed”. Gift-giving to friends, relatives, and family members is common along with a lavish meal. As many people here also celebrate Christmas around the same time, a special name has been coined “Christmukkuh” that unites two festivals. The custom here is to give one gift for each night totaling eight gifts.


Israel is home to the most number of Jewish people after the USA. The houses and streets of Jerusalem and other parts of Israel are lit up. The custom here is to display the lit up menorah so that the neighbours can see that. Many people these days opt for cutouts of the menorah on their walls. The latkes here are round jelly doughnuts.


Iran is home to Jews population for the past 3000 years. During Hanukkah, Iran decorates the synagogues and temples where people go and worship. They also attend religious services and celebrate Hanukkah in the most traditional form.


In Canada, Hanukkah has been celebrated since 1760. That was the time when the Jewish people first migrated to Canada. Hanukkah in Canada has a more secular tone as people of varied cultural groups or countries engage in enjoying traditional food and exchanging gifts. It is a beautiful way to unite people.


At least 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust when Nazi Germany was cleaning the Jews out of their country. Post that massive historic incident, Germany has attempted to repair the damage inflicted upon the Jewish population and their culture or traditions. So, to honour the Jewish culture, a large menorah is lit up in front of Brandenburg Gate of Berlin.


In total there are 33 synagogues in India and a vivacious Jewish community. The Jews population in India doesn’t opt for wax-covered candles. They dip wicks in coconut and then light it up. In India, the Jews enjoy barfi (a milk-based sweet with fruits) instead of latkes.

London, England:

London’s famous Trafalgar Square glitters with the giant menorah. Thousands and lakhs of visitors and local people gather to watch that beautifully lit up menorah. The first candle is ceremonially lit and that is usually accompanied by songs and prayers. For the following 7 evenings, a new candle is burned, so that all candles are burning on the last day of Hanukkah. But shamash or the middle candle is used throughout Hanukkah to light the other candles. Potatoes cakes or latkes and doughnuts are eaten.


The Algerian people hang their menorahs on walls and near their doorways. The menorah needs to be hung on the same side of the door as the mezuzah. Mezuzah is a small scroll that is stuck towards the inside of the front door. As one enters the room, this mezuzah is believed to shower blessings and the menorah provides hope.


Here in France, the menorah is a double-decker one. So, instead of eight, there are 16 lights. The second set of eight lights came to use so that both a father and his son could light up a candle together on one menorah stand.


Hanukkah is a big event in Hungary, especially in Budapest. Budapest hosts a special event named after the districts that constitute Budapest’s historic Jewish quarter- Quarter6 Quarter7. People here celebrate with flash mobs, theater performances, musical concerts, and also indulge in lip-smacking food.