HOUSTON – The first night of Hanukkah is on Sunday and ends on Dec. 26.
As the Chabad Outreach of Houston website describes, “Chanukah is an eight-day holiday marking the end of oppressive Greek rule over the Jews and their holy temple in Jerusalem more than 2,100 years ago. Chanukah recalls many miracles: a small band of courageous Jews fought against huge armies for religious freedom and won; when rededicating the temple, they found one small flask of olive oil that still had the seal of purity and used it to kindle the sacred temple lamp (menorah); the oil was supposed to run out after one day but instead it lasted for eight days, giving time to manufacture more pure oil.
“The Holiday of Chanukah contains a universal message for people of all faiths; namely that good will ultimately triumph over evil, freedom over oppression, and light over darkness. The Chanukah Menorah teaches us yet another message: Just as we kindle an additional candle each night of the holiday, so too must we perform additional acts of kindness and goodness. We must not be satisfied with the goodness performed yesterday.”
Want to celebrate this holiday, Houston? Here are eight ways to get in on the fun across the area.
Bellaire Chanukah Festival
When and Where: The Shul of Bellaire will host another “Bellaire Chanukah Festival” on Sunday, Dec. 18, 4:00 p.m., at ‘The Great Lawn’ - Bellaire Town Square, 7008 S. Rive Ave. Bellaire.
What: Highlights include activities galore; lighting a giant menorah; inflatable fun; Sufganiot and chocolate gelt s’mores; crafts; dinner buffet and face painting. To RSVP for the event or for more information about Chanukah please call 713-839-8887 or visit www.JewishBellaire.com/Chanukah. On Facebook please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1499662110446635.
Chanukah Celebration & Pop-Up Shop
When and Where: Sun, Dec 18, 4:30–5:30 p.m. at the Cypress Center for Jewish Life 14350 Cypress North Houston Road
What: “Spread the light of Chanukah and join together with the Jewish community of Cypress & Northwest Houston for a public menorah lighting and Chanukah Celebration! Check out our Chanukah pop up shop, and get all you need for a week full of celebrations, plus some delicious latkes and donuts! We look forward to seeing you there!” RSVP here.
When and Where: At Central Park at 9595 Six Pines Drive in The Woodlands on Dec. 18, at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
What: In celebration of Chanukah, Market Street will host Chabad of The Woodlands for a Grand Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 18. Talented Israeli-born performer, Yoel Sharabi, will begin singing at 4:30 p.m., followed by the lighting of a nine-foot, eight-branched menorah at 5:15 p.m. by Rabbi Mendel Blecher. Chanukah Goodie Bags will be available at the event by advance reservation at JewishWoodlands.com/Menorah.
Chanukah Menorah Parade
When and Where: Dec. 18, 2022 at 4 p.m. at Chabad Outreach Center at 11000 Fondren Rd B-104 in Houston
What: 20th Annual Chanukah Menorah Parade will honor our greater Houston-area first responders. Their selfless dedication saves thousands of lives each year. Fifty Chanukah menorahs will crown private cars accompanied by Houston-area police, fire trucks EMS and rescue vehicles. More information here.
Better Together-Hanukkah Festivus For the Rest of Us
When and Where: Dec. 25, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at Genesis Steak House and Wine Bar, 80 Braeswood Square, 77096
What: Chinese Buffet and 2 cocktails, Register at Beth-Israel.Shulcloud.com/calendar $25 for first 80 registrants, $42 after first 80, cash ONLY at the door
Chanukah in the Snow - Post Oak Menorah Lighting
When and Where: Sun, Dec 18, 4:30 p.m. at Martin Debrovner Park 1702 S Post Oak Ln.
What: Bring your mittens and come play in the snow. Doughnuts, latkes and drinks will be available as well as a Hanukkah craft and a dreidel prize wheel.
27th Annual Menorah Lighting at Houston City Hall
When and Where: Dec. 18, 2022 at 5:15 p.m. Located at 900 Bagby in Houston.
What: On the first night Hanukkah, dignitaries and elected officials address speak at this event with music, dreidels, Sufganiot, gelt and Hanukkah gifts for children. This is a free event.
Chanukah Extravaganza Blockbuster Party
When and Where: Dec. 20 at 4:44 p.m. at Evelyn’s Park at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard in Bellaire, Texas.
What: Cirque performer, Hanukkah crafts, obstacle course and bounce house, cotton candy, doughnuts, photo booth, face painting, a latke bar and all-you-can-eat Chinese food. Get the details -- including parking options -- here. Price of admission starts at $15 for adults. See ticket options here.