Georgia congratulates Jews on Hanukkah

A Jewish man lits a candle to celebrate Hanukkah in Tbilisi, Georgia; Photo by N. Alavidze /, 16 Dec 2014 - 21:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Jewish people in Georgia and across the world are celebrating Hanukkah, an eight-day festival of lights.

See the ancient traditions of how Jews of Georgia celebrate Hanukkah in Tbilisi here.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili congratulated Jews on the holiday today. The President issued a special congratulatory address and the PM went to Tbilisi Great Synagogue to meet the Jews of Georgia.

Garibashvili spoke about an "exemplary” friendship between the two nations that dated back thousands of years.

"The 2,600-year-old friendship of Georgians and Jews was celebrated by opening the Museum of History of Jews of Georgia, which was funded by [ex-PM] Bidzina Ivanishvili,” Garibashvili said, adding Ivanishvili also renovated synagogues across Georgia.

"Our Government will follow this way, will continue this policy and we will always have a special relationship with our brothers, with Israel.”

The PM was accompanied by Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania and Israeli Ambassador to Georgia Yuval Fuchs to Tbilisi Great Synagogue.

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish festival of lights. The lights, as a symbol, represents the victory of good over evil and the importance of spirit, freedom and justice. Jewish people light one candle on the first day of the celebration and the number of candles increases by one each day so that there are nine candles (including Shamash, a helper candle) glittering in the candelabrum (menorah) on the final day of Hanukkah.