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Happy Chanukah: Snow Covered Chanukah Menorah

(One of a couple of views taken at this scene.)


A snow covered Chanukah menorah located near the fountain in Victoria Gardens on the Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, England. Falling snowflakes are also captured by the flash.


The nine-branched candelabrum is used to mark or count the eight days of the Jewish mid-winter festival of Chanukah (also known as the Festival of Lights). It is a variation on the seven-branched Menorah of the Temple.


The Jewish calendar is heavily lunisolar, and so the exact dates of Chanukah vary from year to year relative to the Gregorian calendar. At the end of 2010 the holiday ran from the 1st to the 9th of December.


The menorah here was photographed in the early hours of the 2nd December 2010, when unseasonably early heavy snow fall affected the UK. The centre lamp is called a shamash - a "helper" or "slave". It is used as a source to light the other lamps and is lit every night. In this example it is located slightly higher up, to distinguish it from the other lamps. The first light of the holiday had been lit the previous evening (at the right most end). On each consecutive day an additional lamp is lit at nightfall - progressing from the right hand side.


On occasions in the past, the lights at this location have been electric, but inter-agency shambleness (between the various local government departments and the electricity company) resulted in a switch back to more traditional oil lamps (originally, historically, burning ritually pure olive oil).


In recent years this particular Chanukah menorah has been presented by: Chabad-Lubavitch of Brighton.


Note that the spelling of the word "Chanukah" is a British English variant of the Hebrew name, one of several slight variants. The "C" is not pronounced, but serves to emphasise the throaty sound of the "h". (There is not really an English Language equivalent to many middle eastern language sounds.) Additionally, many residents of Brighton are descendants of "Cockney London East End Sparras". Without the "C", then the name is possibly at risk of (in the local dialect) collapsing to 'Anuka...

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Taken on December 2, 2010