A 2,000-YEAR-OLD DEBATE FINALLY SETTLED: WHAT IS THE CORRECT SPELLING OF THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS?
New Harris Poll Commissioned by The Manischewitz Company Reveals Hanukkah as Preferred Nationwide Spelling While Chanukah Preferred Among Jewish-Americans
NEWARK, NJ (December 2017) – As America prepares for this year’s celebration of the Festival of Lights, which will begin at sundown on December 12th, The Manischewitz Company, the largest marketer of Kosher foods in North America, set out to settle the great debate once and for all: what is the correct way to spell the holiday? Confusion has surrounded the holiday’s spelling since the very first celebration two thousand years ago, so respondents were presented with four spelling options: Hanukkah, Hanukah, Chanukah and Channukah – all considered acceptable spellings. Now, the results are finally in: A new national survey has declared that HANUKKAH is the preferred spelling nationwide. However, for respondents who identify as Jewish, the preferred spelling is CHANUKAH. Furthermore, non-Jewish Americans prefer the two-k spelling, while Jewish-Americans prefer one k. Oy vey!
The survey of 2,171 U.S. adults ages 18 and over conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of The Manischewitz Company, revealed nearly 2 in 3 Americans (59 percent) prefer to spell the Jewish faith’s holiday known as “the festival of lights” as Hanukkah. Spelling the holiday with an “H” is more popular than “Ch” as nearly 3 in 10 American (27 percent) prefer to use Hanukah, while less than 1 in 10 say Chanukah (8 percent) or Channukah (5 percent) as their preferred spelling. The most significant preference in spelling the holiday differs based on whether a person may likely celebrate the holiday. Those who identify as Jewish are more likely than those who do not to prefer either “Ch” spelling.
“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 reason for so many spellings comes down to transliteration. 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 rededication 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.
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of The Manischewitz Company between November 20 – 22, 2017 among 2,171 adults ages 18+, among whom 112 identify as Jewish. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighted variables, please contact Michelle LoGuercio of BML Public Relations at 973-337-6395.
About The Manischewitz Company
The Manischewitz Company (TMC) is a specialty foods company comprised of 12 authentic kosher foods brands, including Manischewitz®, Season®, Goodman’s® and Jason®. TMC offers a diverse product line that spans over 30 unique product categories. The Manischewitz® brand was founded in a small bakery built to make Passover matzo in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz. Success paved the way for the introduction of new products like Tam Tam® Crackers, Chicken Soup, Macaroons, and Gefilte Fish. Today’s Manischewitz offers Broths, Noodles, Potato Pancakes, and Matzo Balls. Manischewitz is matzo and so much more! See www.manischewitz.com for more product and recipe information.