Forty-four years ago - in front of Independence Hall - a rabbi and a few yeshiva students lighted the first candle on a small wooden menorah. Since then, erecting oversized outdoor menorahs in public spaces has spread all over the country - and the world. To celebrate the eight-night Hanukkah season, staff photographer Tom Gralish visited menorahs throughout the region - including the one on Independence Mall, now grown to over forty feet - capturing varied images during this wintertime “festival of lights.”

An illuminated menorah - blurred by moving the camera during a time exposure - in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the third night of Hanukkah, December 4, 2018.
An illuminated menorah - blurred by moving the camera during a time exposure - in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the third night of Hanukkah, December 4, 2018.
Barclay Farms Shopping Center in Cherry Hill, N.J., on the second night of Hanukkah, December 3, 2018.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Barclay Farms Shopping Center in Cherry Hill, N.J., on the second night of Hanukkah, December 3, 2018.
Along Old York Road, just north of the former Strawbridge & Clothier in Jenkintown, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2018.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Along Old York Road, just north of the former Strawbridge & Clothier in Jenkintown, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2018.
Suburban Square in Ardmore, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2018.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Suburban Square in Ardmore, on the fourth night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2018.
All nine lights shine on the menorah in front of a business facing Glassboro Town Square near Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
All nine lights shine on the menorah in front of a business facing Glassboro Town Square near Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J.
Outside the library in Haddonfield, N.J. on the second night of Hanukkah, December 3, 2018.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Outside the library in Haddonfield, N.J. on the second night of Hanukkah, December 3, 2018.
Clockwise from upper left: 30th Street Station; Independence Mall; Rittenhouse Square; and Mary Wood Park in Conshohocken.
Clockwise from upper left: 30th Street Station; Independence Mall; Rittenhouse Square; and Mary Wood Park in Conshohocken.
Independence Mall, on the first night of Hanukkah, December 2, 2018.
Independence Mall, on the first night of Hanukkah, December 2, 2018.