Last update: April 25, 2017 23:46

Newsroom logo

Baku Celebrates Chanukah

By Mushvig Mehdiyev December 27, 2016


Star of David Hanukkah menorah / Getty Images

The Jewish holiday of Chanukah was celebrated at the State Russian Drama Theater in Baku on December 26th. A special ceremony was held in celebration in this Muslim-majority nation, where roughly 35,000 Jews live. 

The event included music and dance, where a narrative regarding the history, customs and traditions of Chanukah was also delivered.

A Muslim-majority country of nine million, situated at the crossroad of Asia and Europe, Azerbaijan, has unique cultural and traditional relation with Jews. In Azerbaijan Jews have lived for approximately 1500 years, free of persecution or discrimination. The only all-Jewish town – Krasnaya Sloboda (Red Village) - outside Israel is situated in Azerbaijan. Nearly 4,000 mountain Jews and Azeris live and work with one another free of the strife so exemplary to the world. 

An eight-day Jewish holiday, Chanukah, is a worshipful religious festival commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where Jews fought against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt in 164 AD.  

Of note, on December 14th, the Embassy of Azerbaijan to the United States of America co-sponsored a “freedom and diversity” themed Chanukah party with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the umbrella organization for the Jewish community in the U.S.