Hanukkak celebrated downtown

Nanaimo will celebrate the second night of Hanukkah with a public menorah lighting at city hall.

Nanaimo will celebrate the second night of Hanukkah with a public menorah lighting at city hall Wednesday (Dec. 21).

All residents are invited to join in during the lighting ceremony of the 2.4-metre menorah and enjoy sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts), dreidels, chocolate gelt and Hanukkah music.

It is the second year the city has participated in the festive celebration.

The lighting ceremony takes place on the front steps of city hall, 455 Wallace St., at 6:30 p.m.

Other communities hosting Hanukkah menorah lightings include Victoria, Duncan and Salt Spring Island.

Hanukkah, a Hebrew word meaning dedication, is a Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of Lights.

Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.

The holiday is celebrated for eight days. Customs include eating foods fried in oil – latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts); playing the dreidel (a four-sided spinning top bearing Hebrew letters); and the giving of Hanukkah gelt – gifts of money – to children.