A large menorah stands in front of a row of nine hot air balloons, meant to represent its own menorah, at the Chanukah Night Glow and Concert at Balloon Fiesta Park Sunday. (Liam DeBonis/Journal)

As the sun set in New Mexico Sunday, many braved the cold to celebrate the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which lasts until the evening of Dec. 26.

In Albuquerque, more than a hundred people gathered at Balloon Fiesta Park to witness a glowing menorah made of nine hot air balloons at an event organized by Chabad of New Mexico.

“It is a night for reflection, but it’s also a night for looking ahead to a brighter horizon …” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said before lighting menorah candles with the help of Rabbi Chaim Schmukler.

In Santa Fe, about 250 people attended the annual Chanukah on the Plaza, which featured live entertainment, latkes and donuts. The Santa Fe Fire Department dropped chocolate gelt from atop a ladder truck. Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber and U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, D-N.M., also attended the event.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Rabbi Berel Levertov light a chile-shaped menorah during the annual Chanukah on the Plaza in Santa Fe Sunday. (Eddie Moore/Journal)