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The eight-day festival of Chanukah begins tonight. In commemoration of the miracle of the oil we kindle the Chanukah lights -- oil lamps or candles -- each evening for eight days, increasing the number of lights each evening. Tonight, the first night of Chanukah, we kindle one light. (In the Jewish calendar, the day begins at nightfall; this evening, then, commences the 1st day of Chanukah).
On the 1st night of Chanukah, we recite three blessings before lighting.
The lights—which ideally should be kindled soon after sunset—must burn for at least half an hour after nightfall.
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