Wednesday night is the first night of Hanukkah and for 31st year, the occasion will be marked by the lighting of the National Chanukah Menorah in Washington DC on the Ellipse at 4 pm.
The event is open to the public though free tickets are required. The event is funded by the American Friends of Lubavitch. The event will feature music by The United States Navy Band, The Three Cantors, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman and Maestro Itche Meir Helfgot.
Kids will be entertained by Dreidelman and the Macabees while everyone will nosh on hot latkes and donuts. Menorah kits and dreidels will be distributed for people to take home.
If you can not make it to DC, you can see the event live online Wednesday at 4pm.
This lighting of the world’s largest menorah is viewed by millions across the nation and around the world via media, many of them hundreds of miles from any Jewish community, which makes it very difficult for them to otherwise celebrate and enjoy Chanukah properly.
Indeed, this menorah has become a national symbol of the festival of Chanukah, bringing inspiration to many communities to sponsor even more public menorah lighting ceremonies of their own. After all, this is the essence of the celebration – to proclaim and celebrate the miracle of Chanukah – The Festival of Lights in the most public manner possible.
In this way, we reaffirm the celebration of our freedom, inspired by the historic and present victory of right over might, light over darkness, and understanding and justice over intolerance and bigotry.
In 2004, the governors of all fifty states signed Proclamations to commemorate the 25th annual lighting of the National Menorah in Washignton, DC.
Official proclamations from local Governors follow the jump.
Statement by Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania
Statement by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Lt. Gov. John C. Carney, Jr., Delaware
Statement by Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, New Jersey