Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick lights the first candle on the public menorah in Stuart Park, Tuesday night, as part of the annual Hanukkah celebration. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick lights the first candle on the public menorah in Stuart Park, Tuesday night, as part of the annual Hanukkah celebration. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

First candles lit to celebrate Hanukkah in Kelowna

The public menorah was lit to celebrate the holiday in Stuart Park

The first day of Hanukkah was celebrated last night in Stuart Park.

Around 100 people gathered for the annual lighting of the public menorah, with Mayor Colin Basran and Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick in attendance. Letnick’s father is Jewish.

Kelowna’s menorah is one of thousands of large public menorahs throughout the world, including in front of the White House, which attracts some 4,000 people, and near the Eiffel Tower in central Paris, which has attracted as many as 20,000 French Jews, according to a press release.

Related: Kelowna public menorah lit tonight to celebrate Hanukkah

“One of the beautiful things about Hanukkah is there’s so many different things about it. Hanukkah in Hebrew means dedication, education. It also has the word in it that means ‘they rested,’ said organizer Rabbi Shmuly Hecht of Chabad Okanagan.

“It’s all over the world… Hanukkah is a universal message; light, power of quality over quantity, the power of goodness over the opposite.”

Children sang a few traditional songs before the menorah was lit.

Hect think it’s great the community is supportive of the holiday and that we live in a country that celebrates religious freedom.

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