Our first Chanukah in Hong Kong was just like home in some ways and in other ways, completely different!
This year we had 3 menorahs to light and I really didn’t want to dwell on the fire hazard implications of this whilst living in a high rise apartment! Joshua and Eden both came home with their own gorgeous efforts from school which they were both very proud of. Joshua’s was obviously decorated with sea creatures whilst Eden’s bore the world’s supply of sequins!
At great effort and expense I ensured that my tradition of fixing chocolate money onto each gift continued. I didn’t realise how I was going to have to prepare myself for the shock of going in to M&S and discovering how much their nets of chocolate money are. I’m now used to the ridiculous mark-ups on EVERYTHING in Hong Kong but FIVE POUNDS for a net of chocolate money was beyond belief!! There wasn’t even enough pieces in the bag for each gift I had so I resorted to a net of chocolate Santas as well as they were a bit cheaper!! The kids weren’t fussed, it was the chocolate that counted for them! Must remember to stock up on chocolate money in London in the summer and bring it back for next Chanukah!
On the Sunday of Chanukah, we went to a really lovely Giant Menorah Lighting and Chanukah Carnival. This was held right in the city centre which was pretty incredible, especially to see a giant menorah towering over us waiting to be lit. There was latkes, doughnuts, bouncy castle, and all sorts of other activities for the kids. For Eden the best part was climbing onto the stage and dancing away to the Chanukah music that was ringing out. She’s not exactly shy and retiring, that one!
And as the sun was setting, we were all called to sit down on the seats in front of the stage to watch a Chanukah production on screen by some of the local kids. Then we were subjected to a lengthy act by a South American magician. I say, subjected, that’s what it was! He was truly awful, most people were cringing from the minute he jumped on stage and yelled, “Happy Shanukah!” Unfortunately, his act was so bad, it didn’t make up for the mispronounciation!
And apparently what eventually followed was the menorah lighting itself, except we didn’t stay for it which was a real shame! The magician dragged on for so long that it was nearing 7pm, the kids were bored and hungry so we made a hasty exit to take them somewhere for dinner! Maybe we’ll make it to the end next year.
The Chanukah highlight was of course my parents arriving on Night 6, armed with enough gifts to keep Chanukah going for at least another 8 nights!
And of course no Chanukah in my family would be complete without the annual dimmed-lights-and-candles photo from my dad! I may be a little biased but I think this years effort is a particularly good one….