Ottawa, December 16, 2014 – The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Multiculturalism, issued the following statement to recognize Chanukah:
“This evening in Jewish communities around the world, families and friends will gather to celebrate the first of eight nights of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights.
“This eight-day celebration commemorates the successful rebellion of the Jewish people, led by the heroic Maccabees. It is marked by a ritual cleansing and re-dedication of the Temple. Candles on a menorah are lit for eight nights to symbolize that —although they only had enough consecrated oil to light a lamp for one night—the candle in their lamp burned for a remarkable eight nights. It is seen as a true representation of the victory of light over darkness.
“Over the course of the eight days of Chanukah, families will exchange gifts, eat traditional food, sing songs and play games.
“Another tradition on Chanukah is to play dreidel, a spinning top with four sides and one Hebrew letter on each of the sides. Together, they form an acronym meaning, ‘a great miracle happened there,’ to help teach children about the miraculous triumph of the Maccabees over their oppressors.
“All Canadians are encouraged to think about the importance of faith and tradition, as well as the exceptional contributions made by members of the Jewish community to make Canada a strong and vibrant country that celebrates and embraces our diversity.
“As Minister for Multiculturalism, I wish everyone celebrating Chanukah, here in Canada and around the world, a Chag Chanuka Sameach.”
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