Obama celebrates end of Hanukkah at White House

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President Barack Obama holds up Kylie Schmitter as she and her sister Lainey Schmitter, lights the menorah during the first of two Hanukkah receptions in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama holds up Kylie Schmitter as she and her sister Lainey Schmitter, lights the menorah during the first of two Hanukkah receptions in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is marking the end of Hanukkah with two receptions at the White House.

He noted the rare quirk in the calendar that overlapped Thanksgiving with the start of eight-day Jewish holiday. He also recognized some of the people in the audience who are credited with coining unusual phrases to mark the holiday, such as “Thanksgivukkah,” a combination of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, and “menurkey,” a blend of the words menorah and turkey. A menorah was lit at the first reception.

About 500 people were expected at each one.

Obama also paid tribute to America’s men and women in uniform, saying their commitment and courage is a miracle for which to give thanks.

He was joined by first lady Michelle Obama.

Hanukkah ended Wednesday night.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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