Thanksgivukkah: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Holiday

by On November 21, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Recipes

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<a href=""><img class="size-medium wp-image-4704 " alt="thanksgiving_hanukkah" src="×300.jpg" width="300" height="300" /></a> Photo: John Gara/BuzzFeed

For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will converge. That’s right, <strong>Thanksgivukkah</strong>! And we won’t get the chance to celebrate it again for 78,000 years. This calendar oddity has resulted in some really fun – and feasty – mash-ups. Buzzfeed offers up <a href="" target="_blank">potato latkes with cranberry applesauce</a> and pecan pie rugalach. There are <a href="" target="_blank">menurkey menorahs</a>, "challahday" cards and chocolate coins that read "gobble tov". Sounds like a lot of fun, especially if the alternative is eight days of leftover turkey.<!–more–>

So why the alignment between the festival of fowl and the festival of lights? While Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Hanukkah is a moving target because it’s based on the lunar Hebrew calendar, which has 29-day months. The Hebrew calendar adds a 13th month every few years, to ensure that its seasonal celebrations remain intact. This is why Hanukkah can swing from late November to late December. Thanks? to these quirks, November 28th is the latest possible day for Thanksgiving, and the earliest possible day for Hanukkah, which begins at sundown, November 27.? Though associated with Christmas because of its timing, some theologians are saying that the holiday has more in common with Thanksgiving.

If and when you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or both, the holidays offer a chance to step away from the calendar and enjoy favorite family traditions (and perhaps some new wacky ones), togetherness, and the opportunity to welcome winter and the holiday season with Hanukkah and Winter books. <em>Happy Thanksgivukkah!</em>

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Suz Lipman is Bookboard's Head Mom. She has been an enthusiastic reader since early childhood. Suz is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online . She writes for the New York Times ‎Motherlode blog and the Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog and is an outspoken advocate for children's literature and literacy as part of a rich and well-rounded childhood.

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