(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On Sunday, December 18, 2022, Temple Shalom will host a community candle lighting ceremony to welcome the Festival of Hanukkah.

The candle lighting will take place at 6:00 pm and will be preceded by a Hanukkah festival from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The candle lighting ceremony will be led by Rabbi Jay Sherwood and will include traditional Hanukkah songs and the lighting of the first candles of the festival. All participants are encouraged to bring their own Hanukkah Menorah so that the room will be filled with festival light.

According to a press release from Temple Shalom, Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the army of the Seleucid tyrant, King Antiochus IV, in the year 165 BCE. After winning the war, the Jews rededicated the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, which Antiochus had desecrated.

According to the traditional story, the Maccabees found a one-day supply of oil with which to re-light the Temple’s Menorah, but the oil miraculously lasted for eight days. Today, the Hanukkah Menorah is a nine-branched candelabra, with one candleholder for each day of the miracle, plus one candleholder for a helper candle that lights the others.

Each night of the holiday, the number of candles that are kindled increases, culminating with a fully lit Menorah on the final night.

“While the holiday originated with an ancient battle for religious freedom, today the light of the Hanukkah Menorah brings a universal message,” said Rabbi Jay Sherwood. “In a world that is threatened by darkness, the light of a just single candle can overcome that darkness. From this we learn that the light created by the actions of a single person can overpower the darkness that evil brings to our world.”

Temple Shalom is located at 1523 East Monument Street, just west of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center.