How can a holiday have so many spellings? Why can’t it be a nice, simple spelling, like say, May Day?
Well, it has to do with (say it with me, boys and girls): Transliteration.
First, an example. Many people can’t easily pronounce this:
That’s Hanukkah, in Hebrew.
You see, cultures throughout the world use different scripts to represent their language. By transliterating, or changing an original text into the words and writing style of another language, people can make their languages more accessible to those who can’t understand their scripts. The drawback? Transliteration leads to multiple spellings.
The good part? There are so many different spellings of this special Jewish holiday, you probably could write it any old way and get it right.