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Photo: MyJewishLearning.com
Photo: MyJewishLearning.com

It’s Hanukkah! It’s Thanksgiving! Yes, It’s Thanksgivukkah!

Here to quell our collective holiday mash-up anxiety is none other than nine-year-old Asher Weintraub, inventor and rising fourth-grader, who designed the ultimate Thanksgivukkah accessory: the Menurkey. Funded successfully on Kickstarter.

By now, you’ve probably heard or realized that through the gyrations of the Hebrew and Georgian calendars, mixed with American law and tradition, 2013 is the first and only year that the first full day of Hanukkah falls on the American holiday of Thanksgiving.  Hanukkah + Thanksgiving = Thanksgivukkah, or Hanugiving.  Whatever you call it, you can definitely expect there to be great food.

All over the web and traditional press, paeans are being written to this once-in-a-lifetime (once-in-forever?) bit of calendar cross-dressing.  There is, of course, a Facebook page. And a Twitter account. And a Pinterest board for decorations.  Here is a sampling of some of the better and more popular postings:

From the Associated Press via ABC News and other outlets:

Gobble Tov! American Jews Ready for Thanksgivukkah

It’s a turkey. It’s a menorah. It’s Thanksgivukkah!

An extremely rare convergence this year of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah has created a frenzy of Talmudic proportions.

There’s the number crunching: The last time it happened was 1888, or at least the last time since Thanksgiving was declared a federal holiday by President Lincoln, and the next time may have Jews lighting their candles from spaceships 79,043 years from now, by one calculation.”

For all the foodies out there, from BuzzFeed’s food section:

How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday Of All Time

This holiday won’t happen again for 70,000 years. (Really.) So celebrate to the max: Manischewitz-brined turkey, pecan pie rugelach, a cornucopia of gelt, and lots more. On Nov. 28, 2013, for the first and only time in any of our lifetimes, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving + Hanukkah = Thanksgivukkah. (Yes, it’s kind of like Sharknado.)”

From the fashionista world of Refinery 29, there’s this:

Thanksgivukkah Is Now A Thing

If you’re an observant Jew, you probably already know that the first full day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. If you’re not an observant Jew, well, now you know. This rare convergence has been given the questionable portmanteau of “Thanksgivukkah,” which is still probably better than “Hanugiving.” The last time this happened was 1888. And if you believe this quantum physicist, it won’t happen again for 70,000 years. For that, you can thank the Hebrew lunisolar calendar and the Gregorian calendar, which operate on very different systems. We’re not going to try to do the math for you, because this explanation does it a whole lot better than we ever could.”

One of what I’m sure will be many blog posts on Huffington Post:

What to Bring to Thanksgivukkah

Many many years ago, before Rihanna and pumpkin spice lattes, the God of Jewish Things and the God of American Things sat down to discuss the future. The God of American Things designated that her holiday, “Thanksgiving,” should happen at the end of November so all the Americans could take advantage of fall’s seasonal bounty for their celebratory feasts. The God of Jewish Things agreed that Hanukkah should always fall in December, so the glow of the menorah could warm the cold winter nights. They shook hands and marked it in their calendar. As the God of American Things stood up to leave, she spilled her mead all over one of the pages in the calendar. “I’m so sorry!” she wailed. “Eh, I’m sure it’s fine,” said the God of Jewish Things, trying to soothe the frantic, slightly intoxicated God of American Things. Alas, all was not fine. That page, by chance, was 2013.”

And what do our Israeli cousins, who don’t really know from Thanksgiving, think about all this?  Here is a selection:

The Weekly Schmooze: Thanksgivukkah’s around the corner – JPost

First of all, now that the three weeks of Tishrei holidays are over, the next thing we have to look forward to is Hanukkah, or Thanksgivukkah, since the Festival of Lights coincides with Thanksgiving.”

Happy Ridiculously Early Jewish New Year! See you on Thanksgivukkah! – Haaretz

Why is this Jewish New Year different from all other Jewish New Years? On all other Jewish New Years, we dip apples in honey, prepare outlandishly large holiday meals, go to synagogue, hoping and praying that we are inscribed in the book of life. But this year, we’re doing it all really, really early. Crazy early. Historically, once-in-a-lifetime early.”

And of course, Stephen Colbert had to weigh in as well:

Thanksgiving Under Attack – Hanukkah:

The fact that the Jewish year 5774 has a really really early line-up of fall and winter holidays is mitigated by the fact that it is a leap year, and therefore has an extra month of Adar – Adar II.  Which is lucky, because without Adar II pushing the spring holidays back into March and April, where they belong, we would also be looking at: Puritine’s Day or Valenturim.  Really!

About David Fellows

I've been writing things since grammar school, and served as a writer, photographer and/or an editor on my junior high and high school newspapers; the Daily Trojan at USC (where I earned my journalism degree); the student newspaper at the Anderson School at UCLA (where I earned my MBA); and written and edited countless business documents and presentations in the ensuing twenty years. I've been involved Jewishly since my bris and in Boulder since 1995. I'm married to my Executive Director Cheryl, and we have two children, Lauren and Ethan.

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