It’s not just Christmas that is happening this holiday season! Jewish people throughout the world will also be celebrating Hanukkah – and Hong Kong is no exception! Since it happens so close to Christmas this year, they’ve done a Brangelina and combined the two into Chanukah or (hands up who else watched The O.C. and fell in love with Seth Cohen) Chrismukkah. So we’ve rounded up all the best events and information you need to know to get celebrating Hannukah/Chanukah/Chrismukkah in Hong Kong. Enjoy!
Chanukah food, decorations and everything else!
The best port of call for all your kosher goodies is the Kosher Mart at the Jewish Community Centre (1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central, Hong Kong, 2801 5440). It’s Hong Kong’s only exclusively-kosher supermarket and sells an extensive range of foods imported from overseas, locally-sourced groceries and fresh specially baked breads. They should have everything you need to make your own Chanukah food, plus some special donuts and unique treats of their own ready-to-buy too! They may also have some decorations, dreidls and other essential Chanukah supplies.
The main Chanukah treats of choice are latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). The tradition of eating these deep-fried delicacies commemorates the ancient story of the miracle of the oil, which kept Temple lamps burning for eight nights. There are many different recipes and variations on these scrumptious treats so get Googling, or ask family and friends for the best ones!
For making Chanukah chocolates, Sassy’s resident Hanukkah expert Ifat recommends Complete Deelite (2/F On Lan Centre, 11-15 On Lan Street, Central, 3167 7022). They sell Hanukkah chocolate-making materials, moulds and a few other Hanukkah goodies and decorations – and making your own may be your best bet to stay strictly kosher.
If you can’t find any decorations that tickle your fancy, how about making your own? Domestic goddess Martha Stewart has plenty of great ideas here, plus there are dozens more crafts, activities and printable decorations just one Google search away! The most essential Hannukah item has to be the menorah, a lamp that commemorates the story of the miracle of the oil, which lasted for eight days when it should only have lasted for one – hence the eight branches of the menorah.
Another Hanukkah tradition is playing the dreidl – a four-sided spinning top with Hebrew letters written on the side, often, with a pot of gelt (chocolate covered coins) as a ‘prize’; you can find the the rules here. You should be able to find menorahs and dreidls at the Kosher Mart or from any of the main Jewish communities listed later.
All the Chanukah event details we could get our mitts on, all on one page! Don’t say we’re not good to you
A fun day for all the family, including yummy Hanukkah treats, activity booths, a charity prize raffle, music, a bouncy castle, adult sumo (!!!) and a special comedy show of juggling, magic and unicycling by Andy Comic!
When: 11 December, 11am-2pm
Where: JCC Garden Room, Jewish Community Centre, 1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central
How much: $50
More info: Contact Ayelet (Ayelet@ohelleah.org, 5362 3337) or Ariel (RabbiAriel@ohelleah.org, 5362 3336)
Pre-Chanukah Open House
Fun for children of all ages! Activities include playing dreidl games, preparing Chanukah chocolates (yum!), creating your own menorah, rolling cotton wicks, decoarating Chanukah donuts (more yum!) and other special Chanukah crafts and games.
When: December 14, 4.30-6.30pm
Where: Chabad Hong Kong, 7-9 Macdonnell Road, 1/F Hoover Court, Mid-Levels, Central
How much: $150 per child, free for JUDA students
RSVP: email@example.com, 9821 5300
UJC Hanukkah Cocktails & Canapes
For adults only!
When: 15 December, 7-9pm
Where: The China Club, 14/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central
How much: HK$300 per person (proceeds benefit the UJC)
RSVP: Return the booking form to firstname.lastname@example.org before 12 December
Chanukah Winter Fun Days
Great days out for littlies aged 5 and over!
– Monday, 19 December – a pizza party and fun day at Adventure Zone in The Aberdeen Marina Club (8 Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen)
– Wednesday, 21 December – bowling and brunch
– Thursday, 22 December – art-jamming at ArtJAMaLAMa (Shop 1010, 10/F Windsor House, 331 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay) so don’t forget to bring your messy clothes!
When: 19 December, 12.30-4pm; 21 December, 10am-1pm; 22 December, 1-4.30pm
Where: Locations vary
How much: $200 per activity
RSVP: Book at least one day in advance; spaces are limited and minimum numbers are required. Contact Mendy 9046 3613 or Eli 9046 0013
Giant Menorah Lighting
Chabad’s 26th annual show of Jewish pride includes a kung-fu show, live Chanukah music, the Lamplighters’ Awards ceremony, a bouncy castle, Chanukah crafts, latkes, gelt and many more delicious treats! Meanwhile, if you know any children or teens that deserve to receive a Lamplighter Award for acts of goodwill, kindness and charity, nominate them here.
When: 20 December; Chanukah carnival and fair 4.30pm, lighting ceremony and entertainment 6pm
Where: Chater Garden (across from Cheung Kong Centre), Chater Road, Central
How much: Free
More info: 2523 9770
When: 21 December, 4-6pm
Where: Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay
How much: Free
More info: email@example.com, 6622 3770
When: 22 December, 6.30pm
Where: Chabad of Kowloon, 2/F, 11 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
How much: Free
When: 23 December
Where: Chabad of Hong Kong, 7-9 Macdonnell Road, 1/F Hoover Court, Mid-Levels, Central
How much: $200 per person
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org, 2523 9770
When: 23 December, 6.45pm
Where: Ohel Leah Synagogue, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central
How much: Adults $195, teens $150, children $55; family max table $475
RSVP: Pauline@OhelLeah.org or OLS@OhelLeah.org
The main ‘Shabbanukkah’ service takes place in the UJC Sanctuary at 7pm; bring your own Hanukkah menorah and five candles for a community candle-lighting. There will be birthday blessings and a sweet treat for children born between September and December who may have missed out earlier in the year.
It also includes children’s activities in the UJC Sanctuary (5.15pm), early family Shabbat dinner (6pm) and later UJC dinner (8pm) at the Jewish Community Centre.
When: 23 December, 5.15pm
Where: Jewish Community Centre, 1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central
How much: Adults $125, children (aged 5-12) $65
RSVP: email@example.com by 22 December
People who probably know more about it than us!
Shuva Israel Synagogue & Community Centre
61 Connaught Road, 3/F Fortune House, Central, 6844 0472
Ohel Leah Synagogue
70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central, 2589 2621
Kehilat Zion Synagogue
Hechal Ezra, 1/F, Unit 105, 62 Mody Road, Wing On Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2366 6364 or 2368 0061
Hong Kong Jewish Community Centre
1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central, 2801 5440
Chabad Of Hong Kong
7-9 Macdonnell Road, 1/F Hoover Court, Mid-Levels, Central, 2523 9770
Chabad Of Kowloon
2/F, 11 Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2366 5770
Chabad Of Lantau
1 Kin Tung Road, Flat A 6F Tower 6 Caribbean Coast, Tung Chung, 3746 4701
United Jewish Congregation Of Hong Kong
Jewish Community Centre, 1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central, 2523 2985
Jewish Women’s Association
Jewish Community Centre, 1 Robinson Place, 70 Robinson Road, Mid-Levels, Central, 2801 5440