Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, begins on Tuesday.
There are at least three local celebrations to mark the holiday. If you know of more, please include them in the comments or click here to email them to me and I'll include them.
This year, Cary is planning its first Jewish Cultural Festival from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, at the Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Ave. The free festival includes a variety of activities for families, including artistic menorah and dreidel displays, candle dipping, clay dreidel making, an olive oil press, educational exhibits and live performances of traditional Jewish and Israeli music and dancing.
There will be what's being called a "living wax museum" where five historical figures from Jewish history will pose and tell stories about Jewish history and pop culture.
At 6:45 p.m., a nine-foot outdoor menorah will be lighted. At 7:30 p.m., Dan Nichols, a Jewish contemporary musician, will perform.
Admission is free to it all, but canned food donations are encouraged. The festival includes the construction of a menorah made out of donated canned goods. The canned goods will eventually be donated to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
The Town of Cary has partnered with the Chabad of Cary, The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary and Beth Shalom to host this first festival.
“Like all the other celebrations throughout the year, the addition of the Jewish Cultural Festival recognizes that our citizens form a rich tapestry from different backgrounds and different cultures,” said Joy Ennis, Cary's festivals coordinator. “This is a community-wide celebration to celebrate that rich tapestry.”
Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh also will have a menorah lighting ceremony starting on Tuesday. The menorah will be lit each night. You can find it in the upper level next to Sears.
And as I reported in my Weekend Plan's post, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh will host its annual Hanukkah concert at 2:30 p.m., Sunday. Raleigh-based Mishpacha returns for a lively performance.