Your Chicago Hanukkah 2012 celebration guide

Your Chicago Hanukkah 2012 celebration guide

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah is here! When the sun goes down on Saturday evening, Jews around the world will light the first candle on the menorah. It's a great tradition, but, let's face it, that takes about two minutes. (Well, technically an hour or so since you have to wait for the candles to burn down.) To make the most of your Festival of Lights, here are a few fun Hanukkah activities happening around the city.

The Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad Jewish Center annual Bucktownukah takes place next Saturday. The celebration is at Nick's Beer Garden - less Bubbie's house and more Tbox - and for $18 in advance and $22 at the door you'll get open bar for 2 1/2 hours, fresh sushi, latkes, doughnuts and music.

Sprinkles is offerings its famous Sprinkles Hanukkah box, a collection of red velvet, dark chocolate and vanilla cupcakes adorned with blue Star of David sugar decorations. They pair nicely with the traditional jelly doughnuts. Place your order between now and December 16.

Learn about the history of Jewish Chicago at Shalom Chicago, presented by the Chicago History Museum. In the museum's first ever exhibit on the history of Jewish Chicago, you'll read personal stories and see over 300 artifacts from the 1840s to today.

Temple Sholom will celebrate the miracle of the oil and the victory of the Maccabees with Top Chef: Chanukah Edition, a good old-fashioned latke cook-off on Monday evening. Teams are provided with all of the necessary utensils and ingredients, as well as any secret ingredients cooking teams my require. (They have to be kosher, though. No bacon latkes. Which would be amazing.) If you're not cooking, you can still go to watch and enjoy refreshments.

Okay, this is weird. Hannukatz the Musical runs through December 30, and I think it's for children but it looks pretty trippy. Although they are offering a Christmas Day Chinese food feast afterwards so they have my vote.

I don't typically recommend recipes, but latkes for eight nights can get rather boring. I read an article in the Chicago Tribune about a Sephardic Jewish dish that sounded tasty: Bimuelos. This is basically fried dough with powdered sugar on it - so, essentially it's a bite-sized funnel cake. Amazing!


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