DENVER (CBS4) – The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah starts tonight and lasts eight nights. The central tradition of Hanukkah is the lighting of the Menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum that holds either oil or candles. One light is lit each night for eight nights.

Hanukkah celebrates two miracles. The first is the Jewish battle for religious freedom in the Land of Israel. The Maccabees won even though they were outnumbered by the Syrian Greeks. The second miracle happened after the Maccabees recaptured the Temple. They found only enough oil to light the menorah for one day, but the oil ended up burning for eight days. This is why Hanukkah is often referred to as the Festival of Lights.

“One candle can light up many candles. And no matter how many candles the candle lights, it never diminishes its own brightness. So too, we can light up the lives of those around us and it never diminishes our own brightness, to the contrary, it’ll only enhance our lives,” said Rabbi Mendy Sirota.

Other Hanukkah traditions include playing dreidel, giving out gelt money to children, and foods fried in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts).

Hanukkah is an important celebration for the Jewish people because it’s a reminder that every person has the right to worship freely. Religious freedom is one of the tenants on which the United States was founded and is protected under the First Amendment.

LINK: For more information about Chanukah On Ice

WCRJ Community Center and Synagogue is sponsoring a performance of “Disney’s Chanukah on Ice” on Sunday, December 2nd at Big Bear Ice Arena.

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