A 2,000-year-old holiday spelling debate finally settled?

Posted at 5:55 PM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 18:51:57-05

NEWARK, N.J. – As many of the Jewish faith get ready for this year’s celebration of the Festival of Lights, one company wants to help those confused on how to spell it.

With people spelling it a variety of ways, such as, Hanukkah, Hanukah, Chanukah and Channukah, The Manischewitz Company took it upon themselves to see which spelling is the correct one.

The largest marketer of Kosher foods in North America commissioned a new Harris Poll to see which spelling is preferred and-or correct. Those who voted we’re given the four choices listed above as spellings for the holiday.

The results showed that 2-in-3 Americans preferred the spelling Hanukkah, even though for respondents who identify as Jewish, the preferred spelling is Chanukah, said survey officials.

“While planning for the upcoming holiday season, we realized that we at Manischewitz, did not have a shared consensus on how to spell the holiday,” said David Sugarman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Manischewitz Company.  “As the largest marketer of Kosher foods in North America, we thought it would be both fun and festive to have Americans weigh in to help us to determine what the preference actually is,” said Sugarman.

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,171 U.S. adults ages 18 and over.

The Harris Poll said the reason for the confusion of the spelling is because in Hebrew, the language from which the Jewish festival originates, the word is not easily transliterated into English.  This accounts for why there are so many spelling variants.

Hanukkah is the eight-day celebration that commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. Traditional celebrations include lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game, eating delicious foods and enjoying the fun of gift-giving.