Ceremonial menorah lit in Chestertown on first night of Hanukkah

CHESTERTOWN — The first Hanukkah candle was lit on a 6-foot menorah Thursday night in Fountain Park, signifying the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates events from nearly 2200 years ago. 

Also called the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after a successful revolt of the Jewish people against their oppressors.

This year, Hanukkah will be observed between sundown Thursday, Dec. 7 and sundown Friday, Dec. 15.

In Chestertown, about 200 people gathered in the downtown park on High Street for the ceremony that started at 5:30 p.m. Robert Davis gave the welcome and the history, message and meaning of Hanukkah. Cantor Gary Schiff led the blessings, candle lighting and songs.

Cantor Schiff lit two candles, the shamash and the first branch. The shamash candle, also called the helper candle, is used to light all the others.

The event was presented by the Chestertown Havurah, Main Street Chestertown and Washington College Hillel.



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