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Sun Dec 25, 2016, 01:01 AM


Hanukkah on Christmas Eve: a rare meeting of religious celebrations

Published on: December 24, 2016 | Last Updated: December 24, 2016 9:30 PM EST

There was something sweet about a member of the provincial parliament, a Muslim, introducing a rabbi on the start of the Jewish holiday known as Hanukkah, which this year happened to start on Christmas Eve.

That was the scene Saturday evening outside Ottawa City Hall as Yasir Naqvi — the Liberal government’s attorney general — paid homage to the multi-cultural seams that keep this country together. “There were some moments of darkness in this city this year,” he said in reference to a series of anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish community centres earlier this autumn. “But all religious leaders came together and said, ‘That’s not our Ottawa.’ ”

It was the first time since 1978 that two of the most important holidays for Jews and Christians began on Christmas Eve. The two faiths recognize different calendars, the first based on lunar cycles of 29 or 30 days, the second on solar cycles.

The start of Hanukkah, which recognizes the rise of Judaism against tyranny, can fall anywhere between late November and Dec. 26.


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