BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Despite the cold and blustery weather, a special ceremony still took place at the State Capitol on Thursday recognizing the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah.

Thursday marks the fifth night of Hanukkah. The six-foot-tall Hanukkah Menorah was lit just a little after p.m.

Hanukkah is an eight-day festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem. It’s also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights.

“It’s a story of the Jewish people overcoming the Greeks in an amazing military victory,” said Scott Bernstein, event host. “But they needed to rededicate the temple which took time. And they were going to light what was back then the Menorah., we celebrate it as the Chankkah and they only had one small vile of oil.”

That small vile of oil kept the menorah lit for eight days.

Hanukkah began on December 18 and will end on December 26.

“It’s really a reflection of a small group of people putting their faith in God trusting him for a miracle which turned out to be the restoration of the Jewish people,” said Bernstein.

Judy Schmidt attended the ceremony and she flew all the way from Israel. She was there for two years volunteering for a group that helps with disabilities.

“It was awesome,” said Schmidt. “Jerusalem was amazing, and of course, it’s the birth of our lord. So we walked all of Israel.”

Schmidt says the blistering cold of North Dakota wasn’t going to stop her from coming to the ceremony.

“I’ve been doing Hebrew for about 14 years, so Hanukkah is very significant to me,” said Schmidt.

Officials at the ceremony say Hanukkah is not a replacement for Christmas.

“It is its own celebration that pre-dates Christmas by a long time and it’s looking at the Jewish life from a very different perspective,” said Bernstein.