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These Quirky Menorahs Will Make Your Hanukkah Extra Festive

Light those candles in style.


There’s nothing like the warm glow of candlelight at Hanukkah. A Jewish holiday that runs for eight days around the same time as Christmas — this year it spans December 18 to 26, though dates shift annually — Hanukkah centers around the menorah and the nine candles it bears. The middle candle, called the shamash, is lit first; it’s then used to light each of the remaining candles from left to right, one for each night of Hanukkah’s eight-day commemoration.

The menorah is a powerfully symbolic part of the holiday. In the second century BCE, the people of Israel were forced by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who were the rulers of the Holy Land at the time, to renounce their Jewish faith and adopt Syrian-Greek religious practices. The Jewish people, however, triumphed over their oppressors. Led by Judah and the Maccabee, they drove the Seleucids away, and against all odds, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. As ancient legend has it, they found a miracle when they entered the temple: A one-day supply of oil had kept the candles in the temple menorah lit for eight full days.

The eight candles on the menorah are no longer lit with oil, but they still serve as testament to the resilience of the Jewish faith. Though household menorahs are often passed down through generations, modern menorahs are designed to suit any home, mood, or theme. Four of our favorite contemporary menorahs — each with a quirky twist — are below.

1. Menorahs For Foodies

Hanukkah celebrations include many distinctive and delicious foods (did someone say latkes?), so it’s no surprise that there are food-themed menorahs. Zion Judaica offers a “collectible yet functional” menorah featuring a bagel merchant showing off eight of his tasty wares in a cart (Buy from Amazon, $39.99). It’s a playful way to pay tribute to one of the foods most associated with Jewish culture. If you have an appetite for variety, this menorah from Ner Mitzvah (Buy from Amazon, $34.99) features a hot dog, a burger, fries, sushi, a milkshake, pizza, ice cream, popcorn, and a taco — one for each candle. For a foodie menorah with fashion cred, pick up designer Susan Alexandra’s watermelon menorah (pictured above). It’s handmade in the US from fused glass (Buy from Susan Alexandra, $250), and its product description reads: “We love Watermelons. We love noshing. We love fruit. We love menorahs.” Can’t argue with that.

2. Menorahs For Pet Owners

If you have a pet, you may be more concerned with preventing them from knocking over the menorah and starting a house fire than you are with choosing one in their honor. Even so, there are a ton of adorable pet-themed menorahs for dog and cat devotees. Aviv Judaica makes both cat (Buy from Amazon, $49.99) and dog (Buy from Amazon, $54.99) menorahs, designed by artist Jessica Sporn. Both feature nine unique breeds standing in a row. (The cat menorah gets bonus points for a shamash holder represented as a kitty in a cat tower!) If you or your kids prefer your animals a little more fantastical or historical, go for a unicorn menorah (Buy from the Jewish Museum Shop, $225) or a dinosaur menorah (Buy from Amazon, $69.99).

3. Menorahs For Fashionistas

Menorahs can also make a fashion statement. This delightfully kitschy Copa Judaica menorah (Buy from Amazon, $71.99) that sports nine stylish pairs of heels has serious Carrie Bradshaw vibes — and any shoe-lover will get a kick out of it. For an eye-catching and artsy take on fashionable florals, this hand-painted menorah made by Israeli artist Yair Emanuel (Buy from The Jewish Museum, $85) will brighten your day before it’s lit. Prefer something more subtle? This one from legendary fashion designer Kate Spade (Buy from Bloomingdale’s, $75) is subdued without being sleepy. 

4. Menorahs For Music Lovers

Music is well-suited to the festive spirit of any holiday, Hanukkah included. Klezmer is a variety of instrumental Jewish folk music that’s often played on celebratory occasions, and accordingly, you can purchase a menorah that’s made to look like a klezmer band, starring a bassist, accordion player, and more (Buy from Traditions Jewish Gifts, $249.95). A dancing rabbi menorah (Buy from Amazon, $198) will get the party started — who doesn’t want to spin the dreidel while jovial rabbis boogie nearby? And if you want a budget-friendly musical menorah that the kids will love, try this cartoonish choice from Ner Mitzvah, featuring a selection of musical instruments (Buy from Amazon, $34.99).

Any one of these funky menorahs will light up your holiday, and they’re a great way for your your kids (or grandkids) to learn about the Jewish tradition. These menorahs aren’t just conversation pieces — they bring a sense of fun to your home this time of year. Just don’t forget the candles!

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