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:
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
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.
Can you believe tomorrow is the Fourth of July already? It’s not too late to make your holiday plans. From Boston to San Francisco, we rounded up the best fireworks the Fourth has to offer. And to make your planning even easier, we even found out which cities will have the best and the worst weather for pyrotechnics. Get out your picnic blankets – it’s time to get patriotic!
Check to see if the weather is going to ruin your fireworks with our friends at WeatherTrends360.com.
Get in the mood with photos of the best fireworks displays in the nation.
Impress your friends when you show them where the best viewing spots are for fireworks around the country.
Where will you be catching the fireworks this year? Let us know in the comments!
By The Lost Girls
Soaring ticket prices, delayed/canceled flights, bumper-to-bumper traffic and misplaced luggage—all part of the festive homecoming experience—can turn even the most put-together Lost Girl into a cheerless Grinch.
Here are just a few of the ideas that we’ve tried and traded amongst ourselves…all of which have helped us sidestep the most frustrating seasonal travel hassles. And if you wouldn’t mind sharing your own tips and strategies in the comments below, we’d consider it your holiday gift to us!
Holiday Saver #1: Don’t accept the first price—from any online source: For the longest time, I figured all airline ticket search engines, spit out the exact same fares for identical flights. Not so! After finding the “lowest-possible” (but still expensive) fare on a round-trip flight over Thanksgiving weekend on my favorite booking engine, I did a little more digging—and realized I could save nearly $100 by booking a series of one-way tickets on my airline’s own website. Because you can also cancel online reservations, penalty-free, within 24 hours of booking, I was able to make the change—and book the least expensive flight home. READ MORE