December is rapidly approaching, bringing the holiday season in full swing. There are a ton of holidays and festivals being celebrated. Depending on your cultural and religious background, you might celebrate Yule, the Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas—the list goes on. Hanukkah starts on Dec. 2, and for many, this is the first year cannabis can legally be incorporated into the festivities. But what would this look like, beyond getting lit during the Festival of Lights?
If you’re hosting Hanukkah this year, here are some ideas to make your celebration cannabis-inclusive. L’Chaim!
Hanukkah isn’t “Jewish Christmas”
If you’re not familiar with Hanukkah or its origins, here’s the SparkNotes version:
Hanukkah, sometimes spelled Chanukah and also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday commemorating the victory of the Jewish fighting force, the Maccabees, over Syrian-Greek occupation. Under threat of death, the oppressors waged a campaign to convert the Jews in the land to the Hellenistic culture and religion. This campaign included the desecration of the Jewish temple. When the Maccabees defeated their enemy, they went back to the temple and relit the Eternal Light, which, as its name suggests, never gets extinguished. But there was a problem: only one tiny jar of oil could be recovered from the rubble. The Maccabees lit it anyway and, lo and behold, the oil lasted for eight days.
Here’s the stoner equivalent: the authorities raid your space and confiscate all of your weed. You discover that they missed one, half-empty vape cartridge with only enough THC oil for one sesh. But then the cart keeps going for eight, beautiful, stoney sessions.
Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated with candle-lighting rituals, cooking food fried in oil, playing games, and, of course, spending time with your family and friends.
Throwing a Chronica Marijuanukah
We caught up with our friend Catherine Goldberg, who’s hosting a 420-friendly Hanukkah celebration next week, dubbed “Marijuanukah.”
“I really wanted to host a weed-themed Chanukah this year,” she tells High Times. “Coincidently, the America Israel Cannabis Association came to me and said they wanted to build their community in Los Angeles. Adam Sandler came up with the name [Marijuanukah],” she says with a laugh.
Catherine, who works in the cannabis industry in Los Angeles, has a history of combining Jewish holidays with weed.
“Last year, my company WeedBarLA partnered with [the organization] Le’Or to create a Cannabis Passover Seder,” she says. “They wrote their own Haggadah that focused on the War on Drugs. Instead of drinking four cups of wine we smoked four joints throughout the seder. I’ve [also] been hosting Pot Shabbat and Chai Havdalah for the past year in LA.”
So what’s the secret to throwing a lit party that celebrates both Hanukkah and cannabis? You can start by taking traditional elements of Hanukkah and putting a 420 twist on them:
A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with different letters written on each side: Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. It’s used in a game traditionally played on Hanukkah, particularly among kids. But since cannabis brings out the kid in us all, it’s only fitting to adapt the game.
Each player starts with an equal number of game pieces (usually something small, like pieces of chocolate, Hanukkah gelt, or matches). At the start of the game, each player puts one game piece into the center “pot.” Then, the players take turns spinning the dreidel. If it lands on Shin, the player puts a game piece in; if it lands on Hey, the player takes half the pot; for Nun, the player neither puts in nor takes anything from the pot; and if the dreidel lands on Gimel, the player wins everything in the pot.
Simple, enough, right?
If you want to make the dreidel game more interesting, use edibles, pre-rolls, or even loose nugs for the game pieces. You can also implement your own rules. For instance, if the dreidel lands on Gimel, the player must fully clear a large bong before claiming their prize. If they can’t do it, the game continues.
Traditional foods eaten during Hanukkah are fried in oil, most notably latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). Making cannabis-infused versions of these foods is relatively easy if you have canna-oil. But should you?
“The biggest mistake people make with weed events is only offering medicated food which can go downhill really fast,” Catherine says. “For a successful 420-friendly Hanukkah party, you’re going to want to have non-infused snacks and lots of water. If you do want to serve edibles keep them microdosed. Maybe 1-2mg of THC so your guest can eat and not worry.”
Get Creative with the Smokables
Are you artistically inclined and handy with a pack of rolling papers? If so, try your hand at rolling a joint shaped like a menorah! But if arts and crafts isn’t your thing and you still want to smoke out of something festive, don’t worry. You can actually buy a bong shaped like a menorah.
If you’re not interested in hosting your own party, you can always go to Catherine’s Marijuanukah party on Saturday, Dec. 8, if you live in Los Angeles. It’s free to attend, but recommended that you make a donation to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society at the door.
“Everyone is welcome,” she says. “As long as you love Jewish food and weed, you’ll feel at home.”