Festival of lights: Hanukkah celebrates temple miracle, religious freedom, family
2:00 PM, Dec. 7, 2012
Lacee A.C. Martinez
Pacific Daily News
As Christmas trees sprout up across the island and most people on Guam are preparing themselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ -- and also for a visit from Santa -- there's a small group of Guamanians who are exchanging gifts this time of year in celebration of a miracle that dates back to more than a century before the birth of Christ.
Jewish families around the world and on Guam will begin Hanukkah celebrations tomorrow. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and is marked by prayers, the exchange of gifts and a lighting ceremony using a nine-pronged candelabra known as a menorah.
On Guam, Hank Rice's family is one that celebrates the holiday.
"I was introduced to Christianity when I came to Guam and I got to celebrate Christmas with my friends and Hanukkah with my family," Rice says. "So I always made out with more presents than anyone else."