The ceremony began at 8pm, with hundreds from the island’s Jewish community present for the occasion on Patong Beach.
The ceremony was led by Rabbi Sholom Glitzenstein, with the Hanukkah menorah lit by Patong Deputy Mayor Kitisan Kuru.
The lighting of the candle was followed by a fire dance and the lighting of a sign ablaze announcing ’Happy Hanukkah’. Many pepole on the beach joined in the the dancing that ensued.
“As the story goes, a small band of brave Jews stood up against a powerful empire and won a miraculous victory. With only a tiny bit of oil they were able to keep the light of their temple burning for eight days, when it should have only stayed lit for one,” explained Khun Patcharee from Chabad House Phuket on Rath-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd in Patong.
“This story of light conquering darkness is a powerful metaphor for the world today. We can all be inspired by this story to do good in the world. To be brave and stand up for what is right no matter the odds, and to be the light that defeats the darkness,” she added.
“The light of Hanukkah is a reminder of hope and courage. It reminds us that even in the face of impossible odds, we have the power to effect change and bring light into the darkness.
“So, as we light the Hanukkah candles, let us remember the miracle of this ancient story and be inspired to do good in the world. Let us be the light that conquers the darkness,” Khun Patcharee said.
As the festival continues, one candle on the Hanukkah menorah is lit each night. The Hanukkah holiday will conclude next Monday (Dec 26).
For more information about Phuket’s Jewish community and Chabad House Phuket, contact Rabbi Sholom Glitzenstein at 081-1105209 or email Phuket@jewishthailand.com