Originally posted by Asylum-Fry:
They only coincide because Christmas has a set date in the Roman calendar (December 25 I think... though I'm none too sure) amd Channukah's date goes by the Lunar calendar. It moves all the time in the Roman calendar, but they both usually happen in December.
If it helps, Easter moves around for the same reason (it's tied to Passover, which is celebrated based on the Jewish lunar calendar). Or, for that matter, the various Asian New Years (also celebrated based on lunar calendars).
And, for what it's worth, Christmas was tied to the Roman feast of Saturn, celebrated at the time of the Winter Solstice (December 21 or there abouts, for those of you down under). Becasue the Romans, by the time Christmas came about, had moved to a Solar Calendar (and the one that is generally used in the world now) created under Julius Ceasar, The days don't move around, trying to keep in sync with the moon's phase.
Issac Assimov has one or two good essays on how calendars developed, if anyone is interested.
If it maters, Christ's birth was probably in the early spring (late March/early April, on the Gregorian calendar). The sheperds being out with the flocks is a good sign of this.
And, as AF said, either spelling is correct. I think CH is perfer (even if english speakers hate guttural sounds), like Bejing. But it still is Pekinese and Peking Duck.
Don't even start me on the Pyramid Pharohs name..., they call me mad, do they...,