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  • 2021 Saw the First Car Parade Illuminate Amsterdam for Hanukkah

    The celebration of Hanukkah has been and gone – yet it is one of the most anticipated Jewish holidays of the year. While it isn’t the most religious, it’s possibly one of the most well-known thanks to a few, memorable symbols that represent the story behind the tradition. 

    Amsterdam is a city that knows how to pull off a celebration, even in times when celebrating proves hard. This year, they brought even more light to the city with a parade for Hanukkah. Read on to learn more.

    The History Of Chanukah/Hanukkah

    You might also see Hanukkah written as Chanukah, and both are acceptable, but Chanukah is the more traditional way of spelling the festivity. No matter how you spell it, the festival represents eternal light. On the days of Hanukkah, Jewish households will burn the Jewish menorah for eight days and celebrate the festival of light – but it’s a tradition based on a historical account of Jewish tragedy. In 164 B.C.E, the Temple of Jerusalem was overthrown by Syrian invaders with death and destruction along the way. 

    An army of Jewish people led by Judah the Maccabee went on to un-overthrow the temple in an epic battle to beat Syrian forces. The Jewish community rejoiced and lit the candelabrum menorah in celebration – a light that was meant to die out within 24 hours. But, it did, in fact, stay burning for eight days, and that’s what many believe led to the celebration of Hanukkah and the burning of the menorah for eight days.

    Amsterdam’s Illuminous Parade

    Amsterdam – for the first time this year – took part in Hanukkah celebrations by sending a brightly lit parade through its streets. The Amish community living in Amsterdam decided to put together a long concession of cars with brightly lit menorahs attached to the top of them. 

    According to one source, it was the idea of Rabbi Eli, Faigale Spiero, Akiva, and Taiby Camisar that brought this wonderful idea to light. It was such a beautiful celebration that it caused many people in the streets to stop and dance to the music blasting from the cars in celebration of Hanukkah. It showed a manifestation of Jewish pride within the community.

    The Next Jewish Religious Holiday

    Hanukkah has only just finished, but thoughts quickly turn to the next Jewish religious holiday on the calendar – Tu B’Shevat. It’s the Jewish holiday for a new year of trees. It is one of the four Jewish New Years, but this one is related to the new year and new life of trees and nature, rather than people as it is with Rosh Hashanah. 

    It’s a celebration where Jewish households will consume copious amounts of fruit and celebrate the New Year nature brings. The Torah mentions wheat, barley, grapes, pomegranates, olives, dates, and figs as the foods related to Tu B’Shevat.

    The celebration of Jewish religious holidays is like no other religion. They bring together light, food, and good company into one group of warm and embracing celebrations that focuses on life. Technically, there are seventeen Jewish religious holidays to celebrate.

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