DC Hanukkah Guide 2020

by GatherDC Staff / November 24, 2020


Happy Hanukkah, DC.

Before we try to figure out a way to somehow rev ourselves up for yet another Jewish holiday in this unforgettable year of strangeness, let’s hear from our in-house rabbi and personal spiritual advisor Ilana Zietman about how to make this year’s Festival of Lights a meaningful one. And if all else fails, let’s just take advantage of what is truly a perfect excuse to eat fried foods, watch nostalgic movies, and wear an oversized, ugly sweater for 8 days (because we definitely haven’t been doing that for the past 8 months…).

And now, a special Hanukkah message from Rabbi Ilana:

Just as the days are getting shorter and colder, and we feel that dreaded seasonal affective disorder sink in, Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, arrives. In celebration, we light up our homes and our streets with the glowing candles of the menorah, adding much-needed light to ourselves, our homes, and our world each evening.

In addition to giving us a bright visual display of light, Hanukkah celebrates the ancient miracle of a tiny amount of oil, enough to light the Temple menorah for just one day, lasting for eight whole days. While the story of this miracle may seem childish at first, the idea that reserves of energy can last longer than they reasonably should, is pretty powerful, especially now.

This Hanukkah, we rejoice in the fact that we have what it takes to keep our inner lights aflame when we find ourselves running out of fuel. Each night of Hanukkah, we add another candle to count the days of the holiday and to remember that with each new light comes another, and then another. People work the same way. We light up when we see others showing up in their full humanity in dark times. We encourage and are encouraged by one another. We bring love, happiness, and joy into our lives by being there for one another. 

In essence, we are each other’s lights. Because we need each other to get through these challenging and uncertain times, this year, let’s celebrate the human spirit that miraculously sparks and is sparked by our very goodness.

We hope this year’s Hanukkah Guide will inspire you to get connected, spread light to those around you, and have some much-needed fun!

P.S. This list will be regularly updated, so please check back often for new events and celebration ideas.

P.P.S. Know of a DC-area Hanukkah event not on this list? Hosting one that you want to promote to DC’s 20s and 30s?

Add your Hanukkah event to our calendar

Pre-Hanukkah Events

Hanukkah: Thursday, December 10th – Friday, December 18th

Hanukkah Gift Ideas

Hanukkah Food in the DMV

Hanukkah Recipes

Hanukkah Blog Inspiration

DIY Hanukkah Ideas @ Home