The Hebrew word hanukkah means "dedication," and refers to the rededication of the second temple to the service of God during the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid rulers of Syria in the second century BCE.
As you’ve undoubtedly heard, the Jewish calendar and the secular calendar offer a strange convergence in the United States this year as Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide. The Jewish media has been full of humorous articles about combined menus (like this one from Jewish cooking expert Tina Wasserman) featuring foods like latkes with cranberry sauce, and the term “Thanksgivukkah” has been coined to describe the merged holiday.
There has been a great deal of interest surrounding the unusual confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah this year.
I’m pretty sure my family coined the term Christmukkah. We were interfaith hipsters, once we realized that the alternative, Festivus, wasn’t really for the restofus.