With December fast approaching, the holiday season is in full swing. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other holidays, there are dozens of holiday events and activities across New York City to get into the spirit. This year, be sure to check out the lighting of the largest menorah in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza, or take a trip through the NYC Winter Lantern Festival. If you’re in the mood for shopping in person, stop by the Bryant Park Winter Market to purchase all the gifts you need. Read on for more holiday events happening throughout NYC’s five boroughs.
1. Lighting of the largest menorah in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza
Every year since 1985, the largest menorah in all of Brooklyn has stood atop Grand Army Plaza, overlooking Prospect Park and the Central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. In Judaism, the menorah symbolizes the ideal of universal enlightenment and wisdom. Each of its nine (and sometimes seven) lamps alludes to the branches of human knowledge, with the outer six lamps inclined toward the central lamp symbolically by the light of God.
During the eight nights of Hanukkah — which ends on December 5th — the menorah will be lit by Rabbi Shimon Hecht, community leaders, philanthropists, and special guests using a 60-foot boom lift. Accompanying each lighting will be a series of festivities, including live music, latkes, and gifts for children. Open to Jews and non-Jews alike, the lighting of the menorah invites community members and visitors to come together to celebrate the city’s rich Jewish heritage.