Jewish Festival of Light begins Tuesday

An estimated 2,500 Jews in the Capital Region have begun celebrating the eight-day Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah.

An estimated 2,500 Jews in the Capital Region have begun celebrating the eight-day Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah.

The celebration recognizes the Jews’ victory over their oppressors in 167 BC, which allowed the Jewish faith to continue to prosper.

“It’s the celebration of being able to believe what you want, and being free to do so,” said Jonathan Secter, a board member with the Jewish Federation of Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island.

Secter and his wife Nancy will celebrate the way many of the Jewish faith will, by lighting the traditional menorah candelabra, eating traditional foods – like potato pancakes – and giving gifts to their young grandchildren over the course of the eight days.

Hanukkah runs from sundown on Dec. 20 until Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The deli at the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria (3636 Shelbourne St.) is open 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and serves up delicious, homemade food.

kslavin@saanichnews.com