Attendees at a hot air balloon event in Albuquerque, New Mexico discovered that not only is the world’s largest menorah several stories tall, but it’s also constructed out of several hot air balloons. The hot air balloon fest, sponsored by Chabad of New Mexico, had participants engaged in honoring the sixth night in the holiday celebration of Chanukah or Hanukkah by featuring traditional food, live entertainment, and even dreidels.
The previous year when the group of ballooners made attempts to fly the menorah made of balloons, inclement weather had prevented its use and inflation of the balloons. This year, however, the menorah consisting of 9 balloons or more was launched during a Chanukah Night Glow on Sunday, at Balloon Fiesta Park.
The menorah made of hot air balloons is not only the largest menorah but additionally the only of its kind. Last year during the celebrations a local Rabbi lighted a large likeness of a traditional menorah prior to the balloon launch.
Chabad, a local Jewish group says the balloons are used to create a menorah to celebrate religious freedoms and to commemorate the holiday in a way that is representative of New Mexicans. Last year they had mentioned they were hoping the event would inspire members of the Jewish community to light their menorahs worldwide.
Chanukah or Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that features in its ceremonial activities an eight-day, winter-time, festival of lights. It is celebrated each night by lighting a candle on the menorah, saying prayers and partaking in traditional foods. The holiday’s significance is in commemorating the rededication of a Holy Temple in Jerusalem during a revolt led by a man named Judah Maccabee against members of the Seleucid empire who had occupied it.