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The Start Of Hanukkah Celebrated On Miami Beach In True South Florida Style

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) -- Sunday, hundreds of people gathered to mark the beginning of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, and to mark the 20th year of Hanukkah celebration in Miami Beach.

"I love Hanukkah celebrations," said Jordan Solomon.

The holiday celebration at Lincoln Road by the Euclid Circle started with fun activities, children spinning a Dreidel, and then came the moment many waited for. The lighting of a 13-foot-tall menorah made of 25-thousand seashells.

"It is very original," said Simon Chertman.

The religious symbol has also become an iconic art piece for the past 20 years.

Miami Beach Hanukkah Menorah Dreidel
A dreidel made out of seashells is spun by children on Miami Beach on the first night of Hanukkah on Nov. 28, 2021. (CBS4)

Miami Beach artist Roger Abramson said every year is special. He also created a giant spinning dreidel, which is also made of seashells.

"I did the menorah 20 years ago and the dreidel 18 years ago. It represents so much to me and it represents something almost ecumenical. You do not have to be Jewish to appreciate it because everyone loves seashells. This represents respect, freedom, family and democracy," said Abramson.

For the past 20 years, Abramson has collected the beautiful seashells himself.

Miami Beach Hanukkah Menorah
Menorah made out of seashells lit on the first night of Hanukkah on Miami Beach on Nov. 28, 2021. (CBS4)

"It has become the icon of Miami Beach," said Abramson.

The eight days of Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Greek-Syrian army during the second century B.C.

The Hebrew word Hanukkah means rededication.

The Festival of Lights is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts.

In Miami Beach, everyone is invited to the nightly menorah lighting.

"Everyone is a child of God no matter what religion you are," said Rabbi Pinchas Herman.

"Every person can change the world to make this world a better place and light up the world with goodness and kindness," said Rabbi Zev Katz.

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