Hanukkah celebrations kick off across Hungary

The “Festival of Lights” begins on the evening of December 12th and ends on December 20th

Hanukkah celebrations begin today with the Jewish community celebrating the annual holiday right across Hungary.

This year, an eight-day Jewish holiday, also known as the “Festival of Lights”, begins on the evening of December 12th and ends on December 20th.

Traditionally, the annual holiday begins on the 25th day of Kislev – the ninth month on the Hebrew calendar.

The word Hanukkah means ‘rededication’ and honors the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom more than 2,500 years ago.

Each night a candle or oil-based flame is lit, and games are played, the most common involves a dreidel and is a popular way of helping children remember the great miracle.

Hanukkah celebrations are being held in several Hungarian cities this year. Budapest is providing one of the best programs, a series of concerts, theatre shows, culinary fairs and candle lighting ceremonies are open for the public at several venues.

Following a years-old tradition, candle lighting with outdoor dancing and distribution of donuts, organized by the Unified Israelite Congregation of Hungary (EMIH) and Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Educational Foundation, will take place on Nyugati square between December 12th and 19th, each night at 6pm, except Friday due to Shabbat.

Hanukkah ice skating will take place on the ice rink at Budapest City Park from 8.30pm on December 18th, and a whole host of other celebrations are being held in Budapest and across Hungary this year.

More information about Hanukkah celebrations can be found here and here.