We're all so busy running about preparing for Xmas that it's easy to forgot today is the start of Jewish festival Chanukah. Chanukah isn't really that big a deal holywise in Jewish festival-land, it's just kind of got the most famous reputuation from being near the Christian present-giving festival and lots of Jewish children over the years looking sad without presents.
As such it's probably the best known festival, recognisable by the lighting of eight candles on a menorah. We're sure Gothamist and our other American buddies will have lots of ideas for Chanukah based fun, but here in London we're pretty stumped.
If you're Jewish yourself, then your local synagogue or family will probably be doing something, but if your best friend is, then here are some treats to show them you care:
1. Take them for lunch in Golders Green. GG is a hub of London jewish activity and in particular a great place to grab some food. Golders Green Road is filled with restaurants from all the general chains to some proper Jewish grub. Want a light snack, then head to our favourite bagel bakery, Carmelli's, or their accompaning restaurant Milk and Honey and fill up on bagels, amazing biscuits, and their sumptious cheesecake. Alternatively if your stomach is rumbling and you're feeling flush with the cash, then make sure to check out the very yummy Dizengoff Restaurant. Get some Carmelli biscuits for on the way home regardless.
2. Buy them a barbie. We're not sure we entirely approve of this. It's just a bit weird, but Teffilin Barbie is out there for the little Jewish Princess who has everything. It's giving us slight nightmares.
3. Do some home cooking. Check out Denise's Kitchen for some modern Jewish recipies. Latkes are a particular favourite round Chanukah time. Essentially they are crispy pancakes made from potatoes. Savoury or sweet, they're very easy to make and all the office will be loving you if you bring them in for lunch.
4. Get betting. The dreidel is a traditional Chanukah toy and first you need to make one. When that's done follow these instructions and bet your life away. Forget playing with nuts, make it real money, or better still Strip Dreidel. It's what God would have wanted.
Whatever you do, have a great eight days and don't accidentally set your house on fire!