Hanukkah in Israel is a magical time. There are events happening all over the country, schools are on holiday, and families are busy exploring the country and celebrating the ‘festival of light’. This year, Hanukkah will begin on December 22 and continue for 8 nights, ending on December 30.
Hanukkah is the festival of light – for more information about the festival and its significance, see our article about Hanukkah. See also: Hanukkah in Jerusalem, Hanukkah in Tel Aviv, and Hanukkah in northern Israel.
Events during Hanukkah in Israel
Throughout December – Holiday of Holidays in Haifa will offer festivities to celebrate the major festivals of its Jewish, Christian, and Muslim residents, during Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan. Nearly every day of the month, and especially on weekends, there are concerts, exhibitions, tours, shows, and conferences.
On December 22, 2019 – at Tel Aviv Independence Park, there will be live music, a workshop for kids, and a Menorah Lighting.
The annual Hanukkah Torch Relay marks the beginning of the holiday in Israel. People line the road from the city of Modi’in (outside Tel Aviv) to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, passing a burning torch from hand to hand. The torch then lights the giant hanukkiah (menorah) at the Western Wall. Modi’in is believed to have been the home of Hanukkah’s heroes, the Maccabees, and the place where the Maccabean revolt began.
Get a true feel for the Hanukkah festival by going back in time. The holiday story is recreated every year at the Hasmonean Village in Shilat. From December 24-30, come and learn the story of the Maccabees, harvest olives, create mosaics and make wax candles.
Visit the Ein Yael Museum in Jerusalem during Hanukkah to experience the annual Ein Yael Oil Festival. Make olive oil the old-fashioned way alongside different activities.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority offers all sorts of activities during Hanukkah. They encourage families to take hikes lead storytelling activities and environmentally oriented activities for kids, like making ecological hanukkiahs.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel offers a range of Hanukkah events for the whole family. Guides lead groups through some of Israel’s finest nature.
Hanukkah is the festival of oil, so where better to start than at the Museum of Edible Oil Production (2 Tuviya Street, Haifa Bay) in Haifa? In a country overflowing with museums of every size and nature, the holiday is a great time to pack the family and go get cultured. Almost every museum offers special holiday activities for the whole family.
The Tower of David Museum always offers something special for Hanukkah, as do the Israel Children’s Museum in Holon, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art , among many others.
There are many more great events – see our dedicated articles:
Hanukkah in Jerusalem
Hanukkah in the North of Israel