The Smith family, Kim, Craig, Haley, Makenzie, Cody and Zack, all dressed up and ready for the live nativity. (submitted)

Coming up in Cowichan: Live nativity, Winter Wonderland, Light of Chanukah

Live nativity show coming Sunday and Monday

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is gearing up to present their annual live nativity pageant Sunday, Dec. 22 and Monday, Dec. 23.

There will be two performances each day at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at 1815 Tzouhalem Rd. People are invited to stay after the performances for free hot chocolate and cookies inside the church building. All non-perishable food donations for the local food bank are welcome.

The live nativity has become a family favourite in the Cowichan Valley, as Kim Smith attests.

“The annual Nativity Pageant performed by members and friends of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has become one of our family’s cherished Christmas traditions,” Smith said. “Our first experience with the pageant was 15 years ago when our oldest daughter was just a toddler. We bundled up and went to see the live performance for the very first time. I remember my daughter, as well as my husband and I, being awed at the majesty and wonder of it all. The music, the lights, the costumes, the people, the animals, the oldest and most dear story ever told, combined, brought such a delightful feeling of warmth and goodness. We loved it so much that we stayed for back to back performances!

“Since that time, as our family grew, so did our participation in the pageant,” Smith continued. “My children went from being tiny villagers to stable boys, shepherds and angels. I have had the pleasure of participating in the production in various acting roles to moving behind the scenes and assisting with costumes. I love the excitement of those preparing to give this gift to our friends and neighbours who come to partake of the experience, just as I love the opportunity to see the community come together to take time to remember Christ as we celebrate his birth at this magical time of year. It is a pleasure to watch the joy on their faces and see the sparkle in their eyes as they experience the live nativity pageant.

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Winter Wonderland at Cowichan Lake Sports Arena

There will be a Winter Wonderland event at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena on Monday, Dec. 23.

Come out and enjoy the festivities at the annual Winter Wonderland. Witness the arena transformed into a festive wonderland showcasing a toboggan run, fire on ice, skating, shinny hockey, hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa himself!

The event costs $3.50 per person or $12 per family. It runs from 6-8 p.m.

Light of Chanukah coming to Duncan City Square

The Light of Chanukah is returning to Duncan on Dec. 24.

This annual event sees a public lighting ceremony in Duncan City Square at 3:30 p.m. of an eight foot tall Menorah, accompanied by sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), dreidels, gelt and music.

“It is wonderful for our community to experience the support being demonstrated by the provincial government and the mayors of participating municipalities in marking Chanukah this year,” said Rabbi Meir Kaplan, director of Chabad of Vancouver Island.

The Menorah will also be lit in Victoria on Sunday, Dec. 22 at the BC Legislature at 3:30 p.m., and on Salt Spring Island on Dec. 26 at Centennial Park at 3:30 p.m.

Chanukah is a Jewish holiday, also know as the Festival of Lights. Chanukah is a Hebrew word meaning “dedication”. Chanukah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of spirituality over materiality, of the few over the many. It begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, and the holiday is celebrated for eight days.

The festival is observed in Jewish homes by the kindling of special Chanukah lights on each of the festival’s eight nights. Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot, playing dreidel and giving Chanukah gelt (gifts of money) to children. In 2019 Chanukah is from sunset on Dec. 22 to Dec. 29.

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The live nativity put on each year by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a Cowichan Valley favourite. (submitted)

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