(Reuters) - The National Menorah will be lit near the White House on Sunday for Hanukkah, in a celebration that features the U.S. Navy Band and is one of the most high-profile events in the country to mark the Jewish holiday.
The eight-day Hanukkah celebration, also known as the Festival of Lights, starts at sundown on Saturday.
The lighting of the National Menorah in Washington, on the Ellipse near the White House, dates back to 1979 when then-President Jimmy Carter participated in the ceremony at nearby Lafayette Park.
The event is organized by the Chabad-Lubavitch movement of Hasidic Judaism, and will include a performance by the U.S. Navy Band and servings of hot potato pancakes, or latkes, and doughnuts.
The lighting of the National Menorah will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
President Barack Obama said on Friday 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."
Obama and his family presided over the lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Thursday near the White House.
Jewish communities across the United States are set to celebrate Hanukkah with a variety of public events. Continued...