Monday, December 26, 2005

An Ice Menorah in Siberia

From Here:

In the Jewish community of Krasnoyarsk, the first candle of Chanuka was lit during a festive ceremony. This is the sixth year in a row that the local Jewish community, a member of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, has held candle-lighting ceremonies during the Holiday of Light.

And yet another year, local celebrations are distinct in that, unlike a traditional Jerusalem Chanukiah, they feature a Menorah made of ice. For members of the Jewish community of Krasnoyarsk, this has already become a celebrated tradition. As in past years, the donor whose contribution made the construction of this costly Menorah possible has requested that he remain anonymous. The sculpture reveals detailed images of columns, scrolls, a Magen David, as well as eight candle-holders, each of which are skillfully illuminated by electric lights.

The Synagogue was filled with Jews of all ages, from newborn babies to elders ninety years in age. Following the recital of the Maariv prayer and the lighting of the candles, participants in the festivity went outside and gathered around the ice Menorah, which illuminated the crisp darkness. Fireworks then lit up the sky and Jews began to dance and congratulate each other. Everyone ate latkes and doughnuts and soft drinks for kids, while many adults enjoyed a shot of Siberian vodka.

For each of the remaining days of Chanukah, Jews of Krasnoyarsk will gather for festivities, including a concert in the city's Cultural Historical Center.