There are many beautiful qualities to a menorah, but one of the most moving is how personal a design can be to a family. From the material used -- glass, gold, ceramics -- to the size, a menorah can represent much to a household, and serve as a starting point for conversations about what the family values most.
Hanukkah lamps can certainly have a little whimsy, too. Take the LEGO menorah that turns up each and every year at the Original Farmers Market on Third & Fairfax. "Turns up each year" isn't quite right; rather, kids and parents build it, brick by colorful brick, until it is quite large, a happy hue-brimming symbol of the holiday.
Want to place a LEGO or two? The Hanukkah Festival will take place on the north side of the historic market on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 1.
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The Skirball Cultural Center is celebrating the glorious menorah collection at its hilltop home during the Lights of Hanukkah Family Tour. There are two upcoming walk-throughs, one on Saturday, Nov. 30 and one on Sunday, Dec. 1, and both will cover the "stunning Hanukkah lamps in Visions and Values: Jewish Life from Antiquity to America."
It's a fine way to see how history and time have shaped the lamps, and to learn details and stories. Paid center admission gets you on a tour.
And if you want to be present at a nightly lighting during Hanukkah, there are a multitude of public menorahs on display around Southern California. Farmers Market, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills are listed, but look to Burbank, City Hall, and Irvine, too.