Early Hanukkah celebration to light up Linlithgow in December

The event is open to all.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 4:00 pm

The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) will host an early Hanukkah celebration in Linlithgow on December 15 to which all are welcome, Jewish or not.

Hanukkah - also spelled Chanukah - is known as the ‘Jewish Festival of Lights’ and will take place this year between December 22 and 30.

The event on December 15 will include traditional dancing, craft activities, and dreidel games - games using a spinning top traditionally played during Hanukkah.

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Picture: Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

The event will also feature a kosher buffet, including traditional Hanukkah foods such as doughnuts and latkes, deep fried potato pancakes.

Attendees will also light candles in the same manner used to mark the beginning of the eight days of Hanukkah, event though the celebration does not officially begin until the following week.

Local artist Abi Pirani, who specialises in paper-cutting, will lead craft activities for all ages.

Guests will be entertained by Israeli dancer Jo Freeman, who will also teach them a few moves and encourage everyone to join in.

Previous participants enjoying paper craft. Picture: Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

While the event is free, organisers ask for donations to cover running costs, with suggested amounts £10 and £5 for concessions.

The event is supported by Netherlee and Clarkston Charitable Trust, set up in 2012 to increase community engagement with the Jewish religion in Scotland.

Fiona Frank, SCoJeC Projects and Outreach Manager, said: “The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities is excited to bring people together to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights.

“We’re hoping that at such a dark and cold time of year this event will bring some light to the community in Linlithgow.”

The SCoJeC is the representative body of all the Jewish communities in Scotland, aiming to increase public understanding of Jewish culture, community and religion.

Hanukkah is a festival to remember the Maccabees, who fought for religious freedoms in the 2nd century BC after Israel came under the rule of the Syrian king Antiochus.

The Maccabees reclaimed the Second Temple in Jerusalem, but found that the Ner Tamid, or eternal flame, had gone out, with only a small amount of oil left.

The oil lasted for eight days until new supplies could be found, so Hanukkah is celebrated with a Hanukkiah, a candlestick with eight candles which are lit one by one on the eight days of the festival.

The oil used to light the Ner Tamid is also commemorated in the deep-fried potato pancakes and other fried food traditionally eaten at Hanukkah.

The festival is held every year for eight days and eight nights, staring on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which falls some time between late November and late December in the Gregorian calendar.

The event will be held at the Low Port Centre on Sunday 15th December between 2pm and 4.30pm.

While not mandatory, booking is encouraged and can be done via www.trybooking.co.uk.