In pictures: Menorahs lit around the world as Festival of Lights begins

The 2,000-year-old festival began on Sunday with menorahs lit in cities across the globe


For the last 2,100 years, Jewish people have commemorated the eight days of Chanukah by lighting the menorah.

The “Festival of Lights” commemorates the unlikely victory of the militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people over the powerful Seleucid Empire at the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt in the second century BC.

The victory culminated in the recovery of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the rekindling of its golden menorah. The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication”, and is named as such because of the rededication of the Holy Temple.

As the tradition goes, Jews found only a single cruse of olive oil to light the candle for one day, but it miraculously burned for eight days and nights.

Today, Jewish communities around the world continue to celebrate Chanukah both in individual ways, and also through the construction and lighting of large, public menorahs. It is estimated that there are 15,000 public menorahs across the world, from St Lucia, to New Zealand, to the United Arab Emirates.

Here is a small selection of some of the public menorahs from around the world.

Berlin, Germany

ABOVE: The Brandenburg Gate of the Nazi era and today

Washington D.C., USA

New York City, USA

Minnesota, USA

Arizona, USA

Vancouver, Canada

London, UK, and Kyiv, Ukraine

This year’s menorah in Trafalgar Square has been twinned with the menorah in Kyiv’s Maidan Independence Square.

Manchester, UK

Chernivtsi, south-western Ukraine

Auckland, New Zealand

Sydney, Australia

Newcastle, Australia

Kigali City, Rwanda

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