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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Military officials in South Korea will mark Hanukkah Dec. 20 by igniting a 10-foot-tall, jet-fuel-powered menorah, officials said Tuesday.

The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. at Yongsan Garrison’s South Post Chapel.

As Hanukkah actually starts on the 19th this year, it will be the second of eight days in which successive torches on the menorah will be lit.

Following the lighting and prayers, organizers will serve latkes (potato pancakes) and popcorn and have childrens’ games and movies.

The Yongsan event likely will be the only large-scale Hanukkah celebration, officials said.

Jewish services are offered every Friday at Area I camps but no specific Hanukkah ceremony is planned for the 2nd Infantry Division area, officials said,

Most of those soldiers likely will travel to Yongsan, and the same goes for Area III, said spokeswoman Susan Barkley.

Lt. Col. Brett Oxman, U.S. Forces Korea deputy command chaplain, said U.S. bases’ relatively small Jewish population — and the lack of “indigenous Jewish communities” in South Korea — meant Yongsan’s was the biggest of any planned Hanukkah observance.

Oxman, who reported to South Korea in July, said he routinely had about 150 worshippers during the High Holy Day services this fall, and hopes that as many come out for the Hanukkah event, which is open to the entire community.

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which varies each year on the western calendar.

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