Hanukkah in Manchester

  • UPDATED Sep 21, 2018
Image Source: wikimedia.commons

Hanukkah in Manchester is an amazing and very important festival which is celebrated mostly close to Christmas, and thus it may take place anytime between the end of November to end of December every year. The holiday has a story due to which it is celebrated. It’s the story of the Maccabees, which was a guerrilla army of the Jewish rebels, and they were actually based in Israel. This army revolted against the Seleucid Greek King Antiochus who had tried to kill them.

And thus the concept of celebrating this festival is because even though the Jews were outnumbered, they still managed to drive out the powerful Greek army out of Jerusalem, and managed to reclaim the temple. Even though they expected the supply of oil to last one day, but they lit the menorah there, and fortunately for all of them, it actually kept burning for eight days straight.

Who celebrates Hanukkah in the UK?

The UK is said to have the 5th largest Jew Population, in comparison to the rest of the world. And in this, London has the maximum British Jewish community, and then Manchester, closely followed by Leeds. Now, and even last year, the synagogue in Manchester wants people to celebrate this full-filled holiday with them so that everyone learns more about this festival. 

How is Hanukkah Celebrated in Manchester? 

The Hanukkah candle ceremony is usually followed by a joyous round of songs and prayers. The whole festival last for about a period of eight days, and each of the days, the same ritual takes place which happens on the first day. A new candle is lit every day so that by the end of it, all candles are still burning. Also, the middle candle, which is commonly known as Shamash, is used to light all the other candles there. 

In Manchester, there is a ceremonial lighting of the Hanukkiah, at the home of the Speaker of the House of Commons. And followed by the Prime Ministers message makes it all the more of a happy celebration. 

Food is the basis of this festival, and a huge variety is served during this time. Donuts are a specialty, which is fried in oil, and also potato cakes and some good dairy products.

The significance of Hanukkah in Manchester

Hanukkah, which is also commonly known as Chanukah in Manchester, is pretty different and all the regards go to L’Chaim-Chabad. He threw a lot of warmth and celebration in this festival and actually bought meaning to people of all ages. Even if they may be senior citizens, or if they are just kids, he bought something which might be there for everybody. 

This is a festival where people party hard in Manchester. Parties are hosted throughout the city in Synagogues, restaurants, shopping centers, and even hospitals. Last year there were 5 different public menorahs which were held, the largest one being the one held at Heathlands Village, and this had a huge crowd of even more than a 100 senior citizens. Imagine the amount of fun this might have been. 

And that night, a miracle also took place. The menorah which is actually supposed to burn all the nights needed to be lit. 

When is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a festival which usually takes place approximately four days before the new moon, and this is because this is considered to be the darkest night of the month. 

Last year 12th of December marked the start of this festival, and it ended on 20th of December 2017. This year also, it would be at the same time.

Why is it also known as Chanukah? 

Chanukah is what it is called in Hebrew, which is the language from which the Jews emerge. So, Hanukkah, as well as Chanukah, is widely used as well as accepted. 

How is Hanukkah Celebrated?

As mentioned. The festival of lights has lots of food, prayers, and songs. It’s a joyous festival and the point of it is to spread joy. They did this by visiting more than 2000 homes, some hospitals too. There are various games organized, such as last year there were contests with prices, bowling alley and a Chanukah Fest was held with delicious food being served all around.

Hanukkah Games and Fun

Children on Hanukkah play with a square spinning top, commonly known by the name of dreidels. All the four sides are marked with different letters in Hebrew, which have a lot of significance to it. And the term means that a great miracle happened there. 


Lastly, coming over to the interpretations of this festival, there are certain things that one need to know about Hanukkah and what it means to people.

Firstly, it tells us that you should never be afraid to stand up for what is right. Enter the battle, do what you think is the right thing to do and throw your fears back. And trust us, you can actually do the same if you want to proceed in life. 

Try to do well to others and increase your take in the matters of goodness. Even if yesterday was bad, today and tomorrow need to be better. Help others, a little light can help others, no matter how dark the street may be. Chanukah teaches us to shine as bright outward as we shine inwards. 

 And lastly, don’t be ashamed to perform mitzvahs, even if you will feel different. Rather, be like a menorah, proudly proclaiming its radiant uniqueness for all to see. Thus, Hanukkah is a festival which gives out great positivity and helps in transforming the way people think about themselves as well as the world around them. It helps to have a good bond with your family since it’s a festival celebrated over an elongated period of time. So, Hanukkah in Manchester, with all its glitz and glamour is a fun-filled festival which is celebrated.