Happy Hanukkah! National Menorah Lights Up Near White House

Tens of millions of people were expected to watch the lighting from home, the National Menorah Council said before the event

The national menorah was illuminated Sunday evening, the first night of Hanukkah, during a ceremony near the White House.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke participated in the ceremony. 

The annual lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah kicked off about 4 p.m. and featured performances from the United States Army Band and Dreidelman and the Maccabees.

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Following the ceremony, guests were treated to latkes and donuts. Free dreidels and Menorah kits were also handed out to spectators.

Tens of millions of people were expected to watch the lighting from home, the National Menorah Council said before the event.

In his Hanukkah message to Americans, President Donald Trump honored the victims of the October shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

"Jews today continue to face many different forms of violence, hatred, and bigotry around the globe," the president wrote in a statement, adding that the country pledges its "continued love and support" to the victims and their families for the holiday.

"Over the coming days, may the warming glow of each candle on the menorah help fill homes and hearts with love and happiness," Trump said. "Together, we reaffirm the truth that light will always break through the darkness."

CORRECTION (Dec. 2, 2018, 4:50 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this story erroneously reported that the national menorah is the largest in the world. The world's largest menorah is in New York City, according to Guinness World Records.

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