SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah began on Sunday evening. The Springfield Jewish Community Center hosted a menorah lighting and parade to celebrate the beginning of the holiday as a community.

First Light was marked with the lighting of the largest outdoor menorah in western Massachusetts, but before that came the party at the JCC parking lot with a petting zoo, a bounce house, crafts, and more.

Dozens came out for the first night. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno was holding the torch as they did the traditional blessing. Much of the evening was filled with song.

22News spoke with Sam Dubrinsky, the CEO of JCC, she explained what this holiday tradition means to her.

“It’s a perfect representation of light and the resilience of Jewish People and how wonderful miracles can be this time of year,” Dubrinsky said.

The eight days will wrap up on a high note here at JCC, Last Light will be celebrated with vodka and Latkes.