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Hanukkah or Chanukah

The Jewish holiday of the Festival of the Lights is celebrated for the Jewish story of the lights of the temple being lit for eight days with only enough oil for one. In Hebrew it is spelled חֲנֻכָּה. and when it is transliterated into English it becomes Hanukkah, Chanukkah, Hanukah, and Chanukah. And all are equally correct, though the generally used versions use two kays and one n.

The spelling variations come for two reasons. One is that with transliteration, the objective is about characters, not sounds. And the second reason is that some of the Hebrew characters do not have English equivalents, especially the first character. The Hebrew chet is a throaty gutteral sound like the ending of the name Johann Bach. Some transliterations choose the sound, while some choose the ch sound. This comes into play with choosing one or two ens and kays.


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In the end, it is all the same holiday.

Examples

And every year, when the holiday season rolled around, his well-meaning teachers would invite his father to explain Hanukkah to the Christian children of suburban Ohio. [New York Times]

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukkah, Kwanzaa, or all or none of the above, the holidays are always about one thing: showing your family and friends how much you care. [Time]

Keshet UK held their annual Chanukah lighting reception in Parliament, celebrating diversity and inclusion within the Jewish community. [Jewish News]

This year on the first night of Hanukah, as Jews around the world celebrate the miracle of oil and the victory of the ancient Maccabees over religious oppression, medical students at New York Medical College prepared to light the menorah in their newly inaugurated synagogue and feast on latkes in the kosher cafeteria. [Greenwich Post]

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