VIDEO - The US National Menorah was lit near the White House on Sunday, in a celebration which featured the US Navy Band in one of the most high-profile events in the US to mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.
President Barack Obama,
meanwhile, said in a statement that Hanukkah was "a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people" but also "an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share."
Hanukkah is the eight-day Jewish holiday which commemorates the second century BC victory of Judah Maccabee and his followers in a guerrilla revolt in ancient Judea against armies of the Seleucid Empire.
The Menorah is a key part of the festival, because according to Jewish tradition, the Maccabees found only enough ritually pure oil to light a ceremonial lamb in the temple in Jerusalem for one day, but the oil burned for eight days.
The US event was organized by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement of Hasidic Judaism.