Hanukkah is a special time of year for Jews all over the world. The holiday is celebrated by lighting a menorah, exchanging gifts, eating latkes and spinning a dreidel. But how do you spell it? Knowing how to spell Hanukkah correctly is important for conveying the right message and honoring the Jewish holiday.
Hanukkah is traditionally spelled with two U’s. The most common spelling of the holiday is “Hanukkah,” but there are other variations. Some variations of the spelling you may see are “Chanukah,” “Hanuga,” “Chanuka,” “Channukah,” and “Channuka.” The original spelling of Hanukkah is most likely from the Aramaic alphabet, since it most closely resembles the Hebrew spelling “חנוכה” or “Ḥanukkah.”
The spelling of the word is on record in a few different places. For instance, the Talmud spell Hanukkah “Ḥanukkat Hamizbeiḥah,” which translates to “Dedication of the altar.” Similarly, in the Bible, the spelling of Hanukkah is “חֲנֻכָּה” or “Ḥanukkah.”
There is no need to be concerned about which spelling of Hanukkah –with two U’s or not– is correct. The important thing is to realize that there are variations in spelling and to be cognizant of the various linguistic paths Hanukkah can take; never be intimidated to ask or research and learn how to spell Hanukkah.
At the end of the day, all the different spellings of Hanukkah can be seen as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the Jewish people, who keep the holiday alive and recognize the importance of it in their faith and culture. Whether it is spelled with two U’s or not—as long as the message of the holiday is conveyed correctly and with regard to its historical context—all the spellings of Hanukkah carry a special significance.
While the exact spelling of Hanukkah is not critical, understanding the different linguistic variations and being aware of its historical significance is important. Honoring and celebrating Hanukkah in the most authentic possible way is the goal for all Jews.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.