With the first evening of Hanukkah on Sunday, December 18th, New York is gearing up for the eight-night celebration by setting up the largest menorah in the world (Guinness World Records even said so)!
As of Thursday, December 15th, Manhattan’s 36-ft menorah will be lit outside the east entrance of Central Park. The tradition dates back to the mid-70s when Rabbi Shmuel Butman erected the first historical menorah that still stands on Fifth Avenue today.
Last year’s menorah weighed in at 4,000 pounds; this annual menorah isn’t just gigantic but very heavy!
For years, Manhattan and Brooklyn have battled for the title of the world’s largest menorah. According to Central Park, the competition first sparked in 1984 when Rabbi Shimon Hecht brought a similar menorah to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. However, Manhattan’s menorah maintains the title as the ‘world’s largest’ after being certified by Guinness World Records.
Lightings will occur each night of Hanukkah in both Manhattan (at 5:30 p.m. most evenings) and Brooklyn (at 6 p.m. most evenings). According to the Chabad of Park Slope, each lighting in Brooklyn involves hot latkes, gifts for children, and live music! Likewise, the Manhattan lightings will have Chassidic dancing and live music thanks to the Lubavitch Youth Organization.
“Hanukkah is a holiday that celebrates the Jewish people’s remarkable deliverance from those who wished them harm, ” said Rabbi Shmuel M. Butman, director of Lubavitch Youth Organization, reports ABC 7. “When faced with darkness, this menorah serves as a symbol of New York City’s dedication to persevering and celebrating all its citizens as they are. And this year, we’re shining that great symbol ever so bright.”
Lighting Schedule for 2022:
- Sun., Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m.
- Mon., Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
- Tue., Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m.
- Wed., Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m.
- Thu., Dec 22 at 5:30 p.m.
- Fri., Dec. 23 at 3:30 p.m.
- Sat., Dec. 24 at 8:30 p.m.
- Sun., Dec. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
5th Avenue and 59th Street, New York
Dec. 18 – Dec. 25