Festival of Lights


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Sailors! South Coast Plaza is bustling with holiday shoppers, people are decorating their yachts for the annual boat parade, and the Fashion Island Christmas tree is aglow. Virtually everybody in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa knows about these Christmas festivities, but a lot of people don’t know that there’s a Hanukkah menorah lighting at Fashion Island, as well! (December 2nd, 2018 @ 3:30 pm)

Hanukkah is known as “The Festival of Lights”, and it stretches over a span of eight days. This Jewish holiday commemorates the rededication of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BCE by the Maccabees after it had been destroyed.

The Jewish community lights a candle on the menorah each night to celebrate the “miracle” of a tiny bit of oil lighting the menorah for a full eight days, back when the Temple was being reopened.

When you step into the home of a Jewish family during Hanukkah, you’ll instantly be overwhelmed by the smell of crispy fried latkes (or potato pancakes). The whole living room will be bustling with smiling relatives and children playing with a dreidel (a four-sided spinning top with Hebrew letters). There’ll be gelt (chocolate coins) everywhere for people to enjoy, as well as an ornate menorah on the dining room table or windowsill.