It is amazing to see how many different spellings there are of this holiday. Some will spell it "Channukah", other will opt for the more recognizable "Hanukkah." Yet even so, there is another set of variations out there that is equally as acceptable: "Khanukkah", "Chanuka", and "Hanika" are not perhaps part of the mainstream spelling, but they are considered acceptable. As a matter of fact, in the United States of America, "Hanukkah" is the official spelling, but "Chanukkah" is considered an acceptable alternative.
Yet no matter how you wish to spell the Chanukkah holiday, some things will be the same around the globe. For one, you will find the traditional menorah at or near a window of the home of someone who holds dear this celebration of Chanukkah. As a matter of fact, this menorah is quite possibly the focal point of the celebration itself, since the holiday commemorates the miraculous burning of the oil that was supposed to only last for one night but instead burnt consistently for eight nights during the rededication of the temple at Jerusalem. Another most beloved tradition of the Chanukkah observance is the dreidel game. This game combines the love of a game of chance with the historic necessity to play such games when the Jews were secretly studying scriptures even though it was strictly forbidden by the Roman invaders. If such a meeting should be chanced upon by a group of Roman soldiers, the Jews in attendance would quickly bring out their dreidels, some money, and play this game of chance to cover up the real reason for their meeting. Of course, most commonly associated with the celebration of Chanukkah is the dish referred to as "latkes." These "latkes" are simple potato pancakes that have been fried in oil. Another favored dish is a baked good that is fried in oil like modern day doughnuts. Giving a rise to its popularity is the fact that it remains in harmony with the theme of oil.
Of course, there are many other ways of observing, commemorating, and celebrating Chanukkah; some will sing traditional songs, while other will make up their own. Traditional songs are few and far between, and so far there are not that many new hits and soon-to-be classics that have come up, yet there is always hope for the next season! Another method of celebrating, and this one is considered by strictly observing Jews to be somewhat controversial, is the use of a Chanukkah bush. This is but a thinly disguised Christmas tree that is simply not referred to by that name.
Granted, it is still a Christmas tree, yet many Jews, especially in the United States, have found that this celebration is so beautiful in its simplicity as well as elegance that they have chosen to adopt the custom and instead of the Christian symbols have added symbols of their own. It is therefore not uncommon to see a pine tree in someone's living room that is decorated with dreidels, menorahs, and other ornaments that are clearly Jewish in origin.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday, and regardless of how you wish to spell it, enjoy your time with friends and family and remember the miracles of God.