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COLLISION OF CELEBRATIONS: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

For the first time in roughly 125 years, two holidays, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, will share the date of Nov. 28, which some are referencing as “Thanksgivukkah.” 

Being that Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, the Nov. 28 date is the latest possible date for the holiday. 

Hanukkah follows the Hebrew calendar, which is based on the Babylonian calendar. 

The Hebrew calendar has 29-day months and a 13th month is added every few years making Nov. 28 the earliest possible day for Hanukkah. 

To celebrate this rare occasion, aspects of both holidays could be brought together. 

Hanukkah, often times known as the “festival of lights,” is celebrated by the lighting of nine candles on a menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum. 

The menorah is used to honor the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean revolt against the Syrian Greeks. 

The Maccabees had only enough oil to have lasted one night, but it burned for eight instead, which is why the holiday is celebrated by the lighting of the menorah. 

In New York City, 9-year-old Asher Weintraub, with the help of his parents, has invented the Menurkey. 

The Menurkey combines a turkey with a menorah. 

According to, Weintraub came up with the idea to combine the two aspects from the traditions because the two holidays both revolve around being thankful. 

Many families also take part in cooking traditional Jewish food for Hanukkah including those that are fried in oil such as potato latkes, which is a form of potato pancake. Latkes are often served with sour cream or applesauce.

John Lantor of Halifax said his family plans to celebrate both holidays.  

His family will prepare and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the usual turkey and fixings. 

The lighting of the menorah will follow. 

Jim Foster of Virgilina said even though his wife, Sharon Kinsey, is Jewish, they have never celebrated Hanukkah but will be celebrating Thanksgiving. 

Their plans include a non-traditional dinner of seafood. 

His daughter and grandson from Baltimore will visit to enjoy a feast of seafood delights from oysters to crab soup. 

The family also plans to cook up a seafood gumbo Friday.  

This exceptional occasion to intermix these two holidays will not reoccur for another 70,000 years.