Last night, people celebrated the start of December by lighting up trees.
In New West, the tree at Hyack Square was lit up while in Burnaby the Village Museum flipped the switch on its lights.
But tonight, a different kind of lights will be celebrated.
Tonight is the start of the Jewish festival of lights known as Chanukah (also known as Hanukkah).
According to a post on the federal government’s website, Chanukah starts on the evening of Dec. 2 and ends on the night of Dec. 10 in 2018.
Chanukah “commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, in the second century BCE, after the Maccabees regained religious freedom. The Temple menorah (a seven-branched candelabra) was supposed to stay lit at all times. However, there was only enough oil to last one day, and it would take eight days to harvest and press the olives, and transport the oil to replenish the supply. Miraculously, that small amount burned for the next eight days, which is why the kindling of a menorah, adding a light each day, is central to the eight-day Hanukkah celebrations.”
Today, Premier John Horgan issued the following statement in recognition of the beginning of Chanukah:
“Over eight nights in the darkness of winter, Jewish people in every part of the province will light candles to welcome hope, light and happiness into their homes.
“Families, friends and loved ones will celebrate the miracles and joy of Chanukah by gathering together, lighting menorahs and sharing holiday treats. These are traditions that have been carried on for thousands of years in recognition of peace, renewal and celebration.
“To all those celebrating Chanukah, Chag Sameach! May the joy of the season bring you health and happiness throughout the coming year.”