This year, many American Jews will be celebrating two holidays at once. For the first time ever, the first full day of Hanukkah (which begins this year on the evening of November 27th) falls on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgivukkah, as it has affectionately become known, will not occur again - ever! (Well, technically it could occur again in the year 79811, but we’ll just look the other way this once!)
First and foremost, Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, which should never change. Hanukkah is observed for 8 nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. Since the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle, one would expect the holidays to coincide roughly every 133 years, but that’s not the case.
The last time it would have happened is 1861; however, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, Thanksgivukkah has never happened before, and it won’t happen again because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years.
Regarding the marketing industry, many American Jews are “gobbling up” the phenomena. A number of people are gearing up for Thanksgivukkah festivals, Thanksgivukkah treats and meals, and Thanksgivukkah family gatherings. In some places, this is becoming a marketing frenzy with turkey-shaped menorahs called Menurkeys, Thanksgivukkah t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs and more.
Thanksgivukkah memes and pictures have gone viral on Facebook and Twitter as well.
h/t The Mitzvah Bowl
Social Media platforms and users across the cybersphere have adopted this super holiday. There is a Thanksgivukkah Facebook page with over 9,000 likes and a Thanksgivukkah Twitter account with over 1,000 followers (and counting). A large number of Pinterest users are pinning Thanksgivukkah recipes, which combine traditional Thanksgiving and Hanukkah meals into one, like Latke-encrusted turkey cutlets, pumpkin challah, and pecan pie rugelach.
So from all of us at Matlock to each and every one of you, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgivukkah!