National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony on the Ellipse (Photos)

A lighting ceremony took place for the National Hanukkah Menorah, the world’s largest, on the Ellipse, just across from the White House on the second night (first day) of the eight-day Jewish holiday. Candles were lit on Sunday Dec. 9, 2012 by special guest, acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients. The United States Navy Band and “The Three Cantors” performed. The National Menorah Lighting dates to 1979 when Jimmy Carter was president. Hanukkah celebrates the Jewish Maccabees’ military victory over Greek-Syrian oppression more than 2,000 years ago. A candle is lit each night of the eight-day celebration, commemorating the miracle of one day’s supply of oil lasting a full eight days in the lamp following the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. This annual event is sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad)

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