Nostalgia Sunday – Children’s Song Festival
Channuka… let’s make that Hannuka… is upon us. Tonight the first candle on the menorah is lit and the country enters into a week-long frenzy of “Omigod, what are we going do with the kids?” That is because Hannuka in Israel means seven days of vacation for the kiddies and their teachers, (and yes, the parents still have to work).
For this reason, Hannuka in Israel also means Festigal, a high-priced, must-see music contest and show for the little ones, their siblings and long-suffering, short-fused parents. A one-time upstart competitor from Haifa to the Israel Children’s Song Festival, a song contest that had its heyday in the 1970s, Festigal got started in the early 1980s and became the juggernaut of Hannuka kiddie shows by 1987, the year the Children’s Song Festival up and died.
Festigal is the yardstick by which all other Hannuka children’s shows are judged – they pay to get the biggest and most beloved stars – meaning that talent ranges from the hottest Children’s Channel babes and boytoys, to others currently residing in the ‘where are they now?’ bin, and those in between. In short, no other show is louder, more garish, more obnoxious or more in demand. You can’t get tickets for love or money by now. Honest.
In contrast, a medley of festival songs from more innocent days.
Okay, I really have to link to the full clip of Zvika Pick, Israel’s then-answer to David Bowie, Alice Cooper or Peter Frampton, depending on who he was channeling that year. (Today with a reality show, he’s currently Ozzy Osbourne). In this song, “The Soap Cried A Lot,” he tells a tale of woe about some bathroom accessories and a little boy who won’t wash. Enjoy at your peril – and Happy Hannuka!