New York City goes big when it comes to the holidays. The 2012 holiday season is no different. New York already lit up the huge Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, but with Hanukkah just getting started, NYC is lighting up the World's Largest Hanukkah Menorah tonight.
Starting on the first night of Hanukkah, December 8, a huge 32-foot-high gold-colored steel menorah will be lit at its Grand Army Plaza location. The menorah contains real oil lamps. The 4,000 pound candelabra is so large that is must be lit by a cherry picker.
The menorah will be lit by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Rabbi Schmuel Butman of the Lubavitch Youth Organization on the first night.The ceremony will start at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, when the Sabbath ends. The ceremony will include live music, singing and dancing. There will also be free chocolate coins, or Chanukah Gelt for children and hot potato pancakes, or Latkes, for all.
While the opening ceremony on Saturday stats at 8:30p.m. due to the Sabbath, the lighting will take place every other day at 5:30 p.m. The only exception is Friday, in which the lighting will take place at 3:30 p.m. Each nightly ceremony will include folk dancing and holiday jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot.
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg noted the importance of this holiday season as the city has been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"Chanukah is a special time of year to spend with friends and family, and it's a story of strength in the face of adversity and moral courage in the face of injustice. In recent weeks, the people of New York have also had our strength and spirit tested. Our city braved one of the most devastating storms ever seen on the East Coast, and New Yorkers of every background and from every borough have stepped up in amazing ways to help their neighbors," Bloomberg said in the statement, according to NBC. "New York is a city where, even in the toughest of times, we have faith in the future. As New Yorkers light the menorah tonight, I wish them a Happy Chanukah."
The ceremonies are located at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, which is on Fifth Avenue at 59th street near Central Park. It will be hard to miss the ginormous menorah in the area. The ceremonies continue until Dec. 16, when Hanukkah comes to an end.The events are completely free.