ALL POSTS IN [Holidays]

When did Hanukkah become cool? Maybe the cool factor came into play a few years back when Senator Orrin Hatch penned a song to the 8-day festival of lights. Or, um, maybe not.

Whatever the case, Hanukkah is definitely here to stay, and whatever corner of the globe you find yourself in over the next 8 days you’re likely to spot a menorah — that 9-branched candelabrum lit to commemorate an ancient story that tells of the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish Maccabees defeat of the Greeks and, in a surprise twist, a 1-day supply of oil that went on to burn 8 days.

Here, we’ve rounded up the most happening Hanukkah spots around the world, with celebrations that kick off Saturday night, Dec. 8, through the 16th.

NYC’s Grand Army Plaza
Across the street from NYC’s famed Plaza hotel stands the world’s largest menorah — a towering 32 feet tall and 2 tons. Swing by for Saturday night’s lighting, which starts at 8:30 p.m. Details here.

National Menorah in DC
Sunday, Dec. 9, see the annual lighting of America’s National Menorah on The Ellipse (at the northwest end, near Constitution Avenue) in front of the White House — arrive by 4 p.m., and bring an appetite for hot potato latkes and donuts. Details.

Hanukkah Concert in Chicago
Got kids? Love klezmer? Enjoy an annual Hanukkah concert that the whole family will enjoy at Chicago’s Botanic Gardens, with music performed by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Details.

More Hanukkah Celebrations Worldwide — and Great Food Ideas
Looking for more places to kick off Hanukkah celebrations? Check out Oyster.com’s Hanukkah Celebrations Around the World.

And for a little inspired Hanukkah cooking, try these family-friendly Hanukkah recipes and ideas for some savory holiday latkes.

Here at Travel Channel, we’re in the mood for anything (and everything) ho-ho-holiday travel-realted. We hope our picks for our favorite holiday content will put you in the mood, too! See what our editors are hoping Santa brings them this year, learn about the most exciting holiday destinations, and more:

Holiday Travel Moodboard

1) Give the Gift of Travel

2) Find the perfect present for the globetrotter in your life with the 2012 Lost Girls Gift Guide

3) See what’s hot this month — from Christmas cookies to holiday festivals with our Decadent December gallery

4) Check out some of this year’s Most Exciting Holiday Destinations

5) See how Christmas is celebrated around the world

6) Get a look at what the Travelchannel.com editors are hoping to find under the tree this year with our Editors’ Picks

7) Track Santa’s amazing adventures around the globe — we caught him water skiing in Virginia and swimming with dolphins in Japan

Picture this: 5 miles of wiring, draped around an 80-foot-tall Norway spruce – topped by a Swarokvski star. It all adds up to one very magical sight: the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting — tonight, in Rockefeller Plaza. READ MORE

We asked, and you Instagrammed! See where our fans traveled this Thanksgiving. From Cape May to Vegas, Charleston and Asheville, this year Travel Channel fans encountered both long (and non-existent!) airport security lines, plenty of traffic and some impressive foliage. It even looks like a few furry friends joined in the Thanksgiving travel madness — see the full gallery here.

2) @travelchannel Spending the holiday in Newport, Rhode Island #turkeytravel -courtneybradley 3) On the road again. Headed to Charleston for Thanksgiving. #airstream#airstreamintherearview #malimishintherearview #turkeytravel -malimish_airstream 4) Went from Tulsa Ok to the beautiful Texas Hill Country #turkeytravel -fritzante 5) Zero security line at Reagan airport! #turkeytravel -alleesangiolo 6) On the road again.. -digitalboombox 7) Happy thanksgiving from Montana! #cows #turkeytravel#almostgothitbyadeeronmyrun -klcp33 8) Hello #ocean#TurkeyTravel #grateful -valeriekremer 9) #btv #turkeytravel -benlens 11) #TurkeyTravel w/ Mardis Gras beads -smallestpepper 12) #washingtondc #turkeytravel -jifferalderman 13) #turkeytravel #travelchannel #literally -heymandababy 14) Chasing waterfalls #asheville #turkeytravel #roadtrip#waterfall -nikolerucker 15) Chesapeake Bay Bridge -ckmercier

It’s the busiest travel day of the year! We want to know: Where are you headed for Thanksgiving? Tweet or Instagram your Thanksgiving travel photos with the hashtag #TurkeyTravel and we’ll feature our favorites on our blog. Whether it’s long lines at the airport, crazy traffic on I-95, or just a photo of your final destination — we want to  see them!

Turkey Travel

Thanksgiving Out

Not everyone is into the idea of slaving away in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, but everyone likes the idea of a warm, fresh Thanksgiving Day meal. There’s no shame is heading to a restaurant for your fill on this holiday. In fact, many restaurants are doing it up better than any of our grandmas could (no offense to Grandma). We found a few restaurants with special holiday menus that are making us second-guess a home-cooked meal.

New York City
There are plenty of restaurants serving a special prix-fixe menu on Thanksgiving in the Big Apple, but the idea of eating just steps away from the site of the holiday’s biggest parade is too good to pass up. At Picholine, Chef Terrance Brennan is serving a $115 prix-fixe menu featuring 4 courses including a choice of Amish farm turkey, beef, salmon, sole or wild mushroom risotto. With pumpkin bisque with black-truffle foam and a lobster and sweet potato appetizer also on the menu, how can you say no?

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Let’s face it. On Election Day, (or whenever they are done counting the votes) only one thing is certain: One candidate is going to lose. Which is exactly why it’s so important to vote! But if, when all is said and done, you’re part of the unlucky 50-ish percent of the country — whether you’re on Team Red or Team Blue — you might want to get away. If you could travel anywhere, where would your #ElectionEscape be? Leave your pick in the comments below, or tweet it with the hashtag #ElectionEscape — we’ll feature our favorites tomorrow!

And, for a real shot at an #ElectionEscape, be sure to sign up for JetBlue’s Election Protection.

It’s Election Day in America, and boy, are we excited — not just for all the political ads to FINALLY stop consuming every commercial break on television. No matter who you’re voting for, be sure to head to the polls today (if you haven’t already!). Fun fact: Belgium, Australia, Greece, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Portugal, the UK, Canada, Korea and France ALL have higher voter turnout rates than we do in the US. Maybe this year we’ll change that?

If you need a little last-minute inspiration, check out our Obama vs. Romney Travel Showdown and make up your mind on the REAL question in this election – who can lay claim to the better travel destinations?

Whether you’re voting later today or already did — tell us, where will you be voting in this election? Where’s your hometown, and what is it that makes it special?

In case you’re wondering why everyone in your office keeps calling you “matey” and commenting on your “booty,” don’t call HR. It’s just Talk Like a Pirate Day!

In fact, it’s the 10th anniversary of Talk Like a Pirate Day. Ever since author Dave Barry mentioned the idea in his nationally-read newspaper column, the holiday has ransacked the country. Even Facebook lets you set your language preference to pirate (“friends” turn into “scallywags” and “like” turns into “arr!”). You can do that anytime, though — not just on the holiday.

To celebrate the day, learn about the real pirates of the Caribbean and how you can turn your next Caribbean vacation into a pirate journey.

You can also check out photos of the Caribbean hot spots once frequented by real pirates, including Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Calico Jack Rackham, Roberto Confresi and Jon Boysie Singh.

Or, see the rest of the World’s Wackiest Holidays, so you can find more opportunities to take a day off — we won’t tell your boss.

Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. And lucky for us and the 90% of Americans who are ice cream lovers, today is National Ice Cream Day! We want to help you celebrate this most appetizing of summer holidays with tips on where to find the very best places for a bowl (or cone!) of the creamy stuff. Sure, you could have your own ice cream social, but there are a few events happening around the country that might spark your appetite for some chilled confections.

READ MORE

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