Last updated December 20th 2015

December is here, and all of us’s hearts get filled with joy, and the desire to share love. Hanukka, the Jewish festival of lights, Christmas, the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and New Years Eve, the ultimate party time for everyone and anyone are all just around the corner. Let’s see how to honor the holidays the gay way while in Israel.

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Light a candle for peace

There are countless LGBTQ and gay friendly religious Jewish organizations where you can take part in celebrating Hanukka without feeling like an outsider. In Tel Aviv, the Gay Center at King George road’s Meir Garden will host public candle lighting throughout the days of the days of the magical festival. In Jerusalem, the Open House is expecting everyone who want to stay connected to their Jewish roots and their sexual identity in the same time.

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Hanukka is a family fest, and as there are many youngsters among us who have nowhere to go – due to conflict with parents or relatives – IGY, the Gay Youth Organization is welcoming those who are ready to create a new kind of a family with friends. For those who wish to keep Orthodox and want a totally kosher, yet gay Hanukka – reach out to Hod, an organization led by gay rabbi Ron Yosef.

All around the Xmas tree

Christmas in Israel is magical – don’t expect such grand and flashy happenings, shop windows and Christmas trees as in Europe or the USA, but be ready for an authentic, friendly and beautiful season of joy. Anna Lou Lou bar, Jaffa’s hotspot for liberal and gay friendly Jews and Arabs will host several fun parties around Christmas – and this is the area of Tel Aviv, where you can actually feel the Xmas cheer: the Clock Tower Square and the Old City’s Christian churches will be glittering from garlands of festive lights.

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For those who want to have a posh and all-prepared Christmas season, get in touch with Outstanding Travel, Israel’s leading LGBTQ tourist guides, who feature an ultimate Christmas experience with several days of fun programs on their website – and a dinner with many delicious courses and hot-hot-hot guests from all over the world.

3, 2, 1, time to kiss someone!

Although in Israel we have our very own New Year: Rosh Hashanah, taking place in early Autumn, the civilian “silvester” is also an opportunity to let our heads go. All major gay party lines arrange awesome NYE parties – keep an eye on Atraf, the leading gay party news site, so you won’t miss any of the silverster balls.

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Bears and their fans, focus on Beef by Thomas party line, pop party kids, check out Dreck and VRS, club kids, watch out for Shirazi’s FFF parties. As a last minute solution: Evita, the White City’s longest running gay dance bar, Shapagat, the cool and hipster one, and Sauna TLV, the one for the naughties are all expecting a fun crowd on the 31st of December.

Still searching for the perfect xmas present? ‪Foodies‬, ‪‎vegans‬, ‪‎investors‬ – take a look at my new book Kristóf Konyhája, sold all over Hungary’s bookstores, and on special discounted price at my dad’s store, Norbu Shop – alongside with all my previous books.

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Fancy an English edition? Let’s make it happen together – share your ideas with me at steiner.kristof@gmail.com if you know someone who would be interested in working on the international publication. Have yourself a merry little Christmas, Hanukka, and New Years eve, and for updated festive events stay tuned on my blog’s Facebook page