This year, the Festival of Lights begins at sundown on December 1 and continues until December 9. This is a special time of year to commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago.
According to tradition, there was only enough oil in the sacred lamp to last for one day, but upon being lit, the oil continued to burn brightly for eight days.
Throughout the world, the Chanukah celebration begins by lighting the first candle of the menorah in homes and synagogues. This act is repeated throughout Chanukah as a symbol of enlightenment, hope and gratitude.
Other customs include enjoying traditional foods, such as potato latkes, as well as giving Chanukah gelt to and spinning the dreidel with children.
As the Jewish community in Hawai‘i celebrates Chanukah, along with friends and family the world over, let the continued illumination of the lamp act as a reflection of the light and the aloha spirit, within us all. Best wishes for a joyous, peaceful and happy Chanukah!
Governor, State of Hawai‘i
James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr.
Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawai‘i