Chanukah is the eight-day festival of light that begins on the eve of the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, celebrating the triumph of light over darkness and of spirituality over superficiality.
Chanukah in the Square is the biggest annual Chanukah celebration in the UK. Organised by the Jewish Leadership Council and Chabad, with the London Jewish Forum, Board of Deputies and supported by the Mayor of London, it is a key event in both the Mayoral and communal calendars. In this regard, the event is a celebration of the great collaborative work these organisations do throughout the year.
This year, Chanukah in the Square is on the first night of Chanukah, Tuesday 16th December, and is a wonderful way to start the 8 nights of festivities!
Set in the landmark location of Trafalgar Square, Europe’s largest Menorah will stand bright for the entire 8 day duration of Chanukah, reminding Londoners of the miracle of the Festival of Light and the religious and cultural contribution the Jewish people make to this diverse city.
The event will once again draw thousands to what will be London’s brightest Menorah lighting, by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, for the annual Chanukah party. Following a challenging year at home and in Israel, this is also a great chance for the community to reflect upon our appreciation for the Mayor’s continued support in the fight against antisemitism and his commitment to celebrating the contribution of the Jewish Community to the life in the UK.
In addition to the lighting ceremony, we will have fantastic live performances from Neshama band, international artists such as Daniel Ahaviel and Itzik Dadya, the Wolfson Hillel School Choir, Akiva School Choir and JCOSS, as well as the colourful, ever spinning Dreidelman. This mascot will serve as another symbolic reminder that ‘a great miracle happened’ in the story of Chanukah, even in the midst of our fun and games in Central London.
In addition to these fantastic acts, attendees will also be treated to 6,000 free doughnuts, a traditional food eaten during Chanukah (the story of an oil-based miracle—explaining why we eat oily foods to commemorate it, not that Jews need an excuse to eat!). Kosher hot food will also be served by Penashe throughout the evening!
We hope to see familiar and new faces alike, taking advantage of this wonderful celebration for one of the major festivals of the Jewish calendar. The event is cross-denominational and open to the wider public for all to enjoy.