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As the winter skies darkened over Campus Martius in downtown Detroit on Tuesday, a soaring structure was illuminated.

On the first night of Hanukkah, the seventh annual Menorah in the D drew hundreds to the site to the kick off the Jewish holiday.

The lighting of the steel and glass candelabrum designed by renowned local artists Erik and Israel Nordin represents the piece on which candles are lit nightly during Hanukkah, which lasts through Dec. 19.

That reflects how, centuries ago, the Maccabees routed Syrians who restricted their religious traditions, rededicated the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and miraculously burned a single day’s supply of lamp oil for eight.

Tuesday’s event highlighted the holiday while offering family-friendly festivities such as crafts, face painting, jugglers, balloon sculpting, interactive experiments, pictures with a dreidel mascot and warm food to ward off the cold.

Mark Hicks

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