On the first night of Hanukkah, a single candle (or oil wick) is lit on the far right side of the menorah. A candle is added, from right to left, each night, and the newest candle is always lit first. Ideally, the candles should be lit as soon as stars become visible in the night sky, but they can be lit late into the night. While the candles are being lit and the blessing given, the whole family and any guests gather to witness the ceremony; everyone is encouraged to participate. By the eighth night, with all eight candles lit, the menorah makes a spectacular sight. And as they did the previous evenings, the candles will continue to shine until they burn themselves out.