This year, there is the most extraordinary opportunity to conclude the celebration of Thanksgiving as well as lighting Hanukkah’s second light. The holidays coincide with one another, bringing an event that will not happen in this lifetime.
It’s the first time since 1888 that any of the eight days in the Jewish celebration of lights have fallen on the same day as the holiday marking the Pilgrims’ 1621 first harvest in the New World.
This rare occasion will occur due to the fact that Hanukkah’s dates vary every year, as the holiday follows the Hebrew calendar, which is a lunar calendar. The holiday of Hanukkah is known as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated for eight days to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Because of the calendar the holiday goes by, it is very rare for Hanukkah to happen in Novemeber, let alone on Thanksgiving.
This event is a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate two holidays in one. The next time one of the nights of Hanukkah will coincide with Thanksgiving is in the year 2070, and again in 2165.
However, they will have to wait until the year 77,094 to bask in the menorah’s glow while dining on pumkin pie and turkey on the first night of Hanukkah.
Companies are taking advantage of the unity of these holidays by selling themed items, such as “Thanksgivukkah”cards and recipes to combine the traditional foods of each holiday into one, with delicious meals or sides such as sweet potato latkes or cranberry sauce filled jelly donuts.
Also, it is likely that turkey styled menorahs will light up households all throughout the United States on Thanksgiving, allowing the light of Hanukkah to remind us that it also is Thanksigiving.
So on Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce and latkes will unite as this rare event takes place, allowing Jewish Americans around the United States to indulge in the rare holiday that is “Thanksgivukkah.”