Tucson holidays: Early start to Hanukkah; Winterhaven Festival of Lights begins

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Some Tucsonans got a head start Sunday on celebrating Hanukkah.

Temple Emanu-El hosted its greatest Hanukkah on earth festival.

The celebration began with lighting the temple's giant outdoor menorah, then continued on with songs, stories and more.

"In a religious sense, it's not considered super important but in a historical sense it's extremely important.  Without Hanukkah you don't have any Judaism after the second century B.C. which means no Judaism, no Christianity, no Islam, no Western Civilization basically," said Rabbi Samuel Cohon from Temple Emanu-El.

The first night of Hanukkah is December 20.  The celebration lasts for eight days.

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The 62nd annual Winterhaven Festival of Lights, now well underway.

The Festival kicked off this weekend and runs through Christmas Day.

The first drive-thru night is this Tuesday, then there's one on the 15 and 20.  The festival usually runs from six to 10 each night.

And remember if you go, you can drop off canned food items or make a donation for the Community Food Bank.