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Hanukkah Begins This Weekend

Here are some nearby events celebrating the Jewish holiday of lights, which begins Saturday.

The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah—also called the Festival of Lights—begins this year on Saturday at sundown. It runs for eight days, concluding this year on Sunday night, Dec. 16.

Families celebrate privately by lighting one candle on the menorah each night of the holiday and exchanging gifts each night.

Public celebrations are many too, including the following in nearby Patch communities:

-Temple Knesset Israel in Los Feliz hosts its annual Hanukkah Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 8 from at 5:30 p.m. Click through for details.

-Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center hosts a Festival of Lights event Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m-3 p.m. Bands, a boutique,a kids zone, a Kugel cookoff and more will highlight the day.  The Canter's Food Truck will be on hand to keep it real with traditional delights. $15 for a wristband. Visit www.sijcc.net for more info.

-Chabad of Los Feliz presents Chanukah in Bubbleland also on Dec. 9, the second night of the holiday, from 2:30-5:00 p.m. This program features a bubblegum menorah, and costs $10 per child, $15 per adult. Visit www.chabadlosfeliz.com for more info.

-Chabad of Los Feliz also sponsors a Lego Menorah Lighting at the Griffith Observatory Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. It's free and will feature latkes, donuts and a dreidel and gelt giveaway.

-Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park and Eagle Rock will host a Community Lights Hanukkah Party on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 6 . to 9 p.m. at 5711 Monte Vista St. 

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a celebration commemorating the Maccabean Revolt, a battle between the Jews and the Seleucids, who ruled Israel more than 2,000 years ago.

The Jews drove the Seleucids out of Jerusalem and reclaimed their desecrated holy temple, according to the Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center

The victors found a one-day supply of olive oil that had not been contaminated by the Seleucids and used it to light the temple menorah. The miracle of Hanukkah is that the oil—which was supposed to last for only one day—lasted for eight days, hence the length of time Hanukkah is celebrated today.

Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a candle on the menorah on each of the eight nights. Other customs include eating traditional foods made with oil, such as potato latkes and deep-fried, filled donuts known as sufganiyot, and playing with a spinning top called a dreidel, which is inscribed with the Hebrew acronym for "A great miracle happened there."

 

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