Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hanukah, Hanukka, Channuka...

More than one person has asked me recently how you spell Hanukah. Well, you spell it חנוכה or more traditionally,חֲנֻכָּה‎! What's that, you say? in English? :) This is a Hebrew word, and it is transliterated (or "Romanized") in a variety of ways. Here are a few I know of: Hanukah, Hanukka, Channukah, Chanuka, and the list goes on. Basically, if the way you spell it sounds remotely like the word itself? You're good! No mistakes here. Call it....alternate phonetic spellings.

We've also been to a party or two. One was a grown up, dress up affair with lots of good food. For another, I was asked to do a singalong at a community Hanukah event. It was maybe more accurately described as a carnival, or maybe a 3 ring circus. Anyhow, it went ok, although there were some organizational difficulties. There weren't a ton of takers for the Hanukah songs, although it's certainly a traditional thing to do on the holiday. The professor shot a photo or two with me as I sang with a few new friends. (This is an unidentified friend, no idea of names!) Note the red handspun sweater...it was held in an enormous gym.

Last night we had some friends over to eat dinner. (roast beef with chutney, potato pancakes --latkes, applesauce, coleslaw, dilly beans, smoked gold eye fish, rhubarb wine and raspberry cake...a feast!)

The professor also made sure our "gelt" (it means money in Yiddish, but also means chocolate coins for Hanukah) was appropriate to our big move this year. Usually we buy chocolate coins with Hebrew on them. This year, he found chocolate loonies and toonies.

Traditionally, you get treats each night during this holiday. Maybe sweets and maybe a bit of money on Hanukah, but no really enormous presents. Highlights from when I was little included the socks and underwear nights, the donate to charity in your honor night, and the calendar for next year night... My mom did buy us one or two big gifts but mostly we could predict what we'd receive.

This year, our big gift to ourselves was block heaters for our cars. Or, as our friend described it, long underwear for the car! It's not glamorous but it's a necessity here, especially since we don't have a garage.
Hanukah's a pretty low key holiday (on par with Arbor Day..), but we've been having a great one here in Winnipeg. Compared to places where we struggled to have anyone with which to celebrate this, or past years, it has been wonderful indeed.

It's a bit nippy still. Our weather has been roughly in the -24C range (roughly -11F) but with variation. For instance, it was -18F earlier this morning, and with windchill, this falls into the category of "Ohmygoodnessit'scoldoutthere."

We're staying toasty inside. Many of our windows have a little jack frost visiting. We've got double (and sometimes triple) paned windows in this house. However, the outside storm window is an old fashioned one, so sometimes there is a bit of ice build up there. The "inside" double paned window is a newer one, but in any case, it makes pretty decorations when you look out!
The dogs are hunkering down, for the most part, although they do get a bit stir crazy. We do one short walk a day, and otherwise it's run to the yard, do your thing, come right back in!

It is supposed to get warmer later this week (maybe even -9C or 16F!) and that "heat wave" will be enough to let us take a walk and enjoy ourselves outside again. In the meanwhile, I managed to skate indoors--much warmer inside than out--at a rink yesterday, and I kept myself upright and going round and round for 45 minutes. A new record! Soon I won't be so sore, I hope. I forgot I even had these muscles.

My goal is to get back to a place where the skating is more fun and less painful. I imagine that with practice, I'll get there. I'm really looking forward to getting out on the river even if I'm just walking on the footpath and not skating.

Wishing you winter joy, no matter what your weather!

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Blogger cyndy said...

Happy Hanukah Joanne!

Stay warm and have fun out on the river!

December 15, 2009 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Willow said...

Happy Hanukah! Wrap up warmly and stay active!

December 16, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Thanks for what turned out to be a tutorial on Hanukah! Because of your post, I was able to get almost every answer right in the Hanukah category on Jeopardy last night. It doesn't matter where I learn stuff...just so I learn!!

Keep warm & Happy Hanukah.

December 17, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Happy Hannukah!

December 18, 2009 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Nate has "coined" the word GUILT for gelt. I think it is downright appropriate! We miss and love you here in Virginia!

January 1, 2010 at 3:50 PM  

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