Richmond celebrates Hanukkah

By on December 3, 2014


Richmond Public Library and Vancouver Kollel will celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of light, with a giant Menorah lighting on Dec. 16, at the Richmond Library and Cultural Centre, 7700 Minoru Gate.

The lighting of the 25-foot Menorah takes place at 6:45 p.m. outside on the plaza, and there will be a family Hanukkah Party inside the Brighouse (Main) Branch library before that, at 5:15 p.m. Everyone is welcome to this free, drop-in event.

“This year Hanukkah starts on Dec. 16 and ends on Dec. 24. The highlight will be the lighting of the giant Menorah – a nine-branched candelabra – to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah,” said library communications officer, Shelley Civkin. Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie will light the shamash, or “helper” candle, which is used to light all the other candles. Rabbi Avraham Feigelstock from Vancouver Kollel will officiate at the lighting ceremony.

A special Hanukkah party for families and kids will take place before the Menorah lighting and will feature arts and crafts for kids, live Hanukah music, dreidel games, and traditional Hanukkah snacks,” added Civkin.

Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and spirituality over materiality. It is also known as the Feast of Dedication, commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Greeks of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar.

The festival of Hanukkah is observed by lighting the nine-branched Menorah. The tradition is to light one additional candle on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight Hanukkah candles on the final night.

The giant 25-foot high Menorah, one of the world’s largest, was designed by the late architect Arthur Erickson.