NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Among the holidays celebrated at this time of year is a Festival of Lights, known as Chanukah.
This year, the 8-day celebration started on December 22. Families gathered at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan to celebrate the holiday with song, fun and, of course, food.READ MORE: Hundreds In Brooklyn Protest Police Shooting Death Of Chicago Teen Adam Toledo
Jelly donuts is a staple of Chanukah. Potato latkes are also a tradition, both fried in oil.
Oil is a vital part of the miracle of Chanukah.
“We light the candles for 8 days and one candle each night,” said Abigail Kornbruth, a child who attended the celebration.READ MORE: Ohio Man With Semi-Automatic Rifle Taken Into Custody At Times Square Subway Station
The menorah is lit as a celebration of light, chasing away the forces of evil and darkness.
The tradition stems from the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom more than 2,500 years ago. Their temple was re-dedicated by the Maccabees following their victory over the Syrians, and oil to light the menorah miraculously lasted for 8 days, instead of just the one.
The literal translation of Chanukah means to dedicate and that’s what what families at the 92nd Street Y are doing — making sure their children know the meaning of Chanukah and the traditions, and never losing sight of the most important part of the holiday.MORE NEWS: Dozens Of West Point Cadets Required To Repeat A Year After Cheating Scandal, 8 Expelled
“It’s a time when all people are celebrating this new year and new season together and spreading a lot of love and light in the world,” said Rebecca Schoffer, a musician and mom.