The city of Boston kicked off the Christmas holiday with the 80th annual Boston Common Christmas tree lighting Thursday night. The Grand Menorah Lighting also took place in Brighton on Thursday at the Shaloh House to commemorate the fourth day of Hanukkah.
Crowds gathered to watch the illumination of the tree, a 60-year-old, 48-foot white spruce from Orangedale, Nova Scotia, according to the city. The tree was donated by the province of Nova Scotia, a tradition that began in 1917, after Boston provided aid after an explosion of an ammunition ship in Halifax Harbor.
Mayor also stood at the two-hour celebration Michelle Wue, who pulled the switch to light the tree with her two sons, and a performance by Grammy Award winner Darlene Love, among others.
“After last year’s virtual celebration, it is an honor to personally welcome residents and visitors of all ages to Boston Common to light the Nova Scotia Christmas tree and Christmas lights throughout the park,” Wu said.
Wu was also present earlier in the evening to celebrate the fourth day of Hanukkah with the Shaloh House, a Jewish day school, in Brighton. She was joined by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Representative Mike Moran. An outdoor event was held to celebrate Hanukkah, which included a menorah lighting and performers.
The ceremony also honored Rabbi Schlomo Naginski, who was stabbed eight times outside the Shaloh House earlier this year in an anti-Semitic attack. Rabbi Naginski attended the Menorah Lighting, which took place on the spot where he was stabbed.
Thursday’s menorah lighting wasn’t the only local celebration this week to celebrate Hanukkah. On Sunday, Wu and Governor Charlie Baker lit the 22-foot-tall menorah in Boston Common to begin Hanukkah celebrations in the state. The 39th Annual Menorah Illumination was sponsored by Chabad of Downtown Boston.
“In some ways, especially in times like these, I think it’s important for all of us to remember that every day — somewhere, somewhere — small miracles happen,” Baker said. “It is about acts of grace, kindness and generosity. And they are in fact the light that dispels the darkness, and that is what this menorah, these eight days of light, stands for.”
View photos and videos of the events below.
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