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Jews Around the World Celebrate First Night of Hannukah

  • VOA News

Celebrations marking Hannukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, got underway on Wednesday night.

Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Jewish Second Temple in Jerusalem in 164 B.C. after its desecration by the Syrian Greeks.

In Israel, observant Jews light the Menorah each night to mark the holiday and Israel's chief rabbi was on hand to light the first candle at the Western Wall.

The Jewish community in Berlin visited Europe's largest Hanukkah Menorah in front of the Brandenburg gate and celebrated the first night of the festival with music and prayers.

In the US, for the first time since 1888, Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving.