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Thanksgivukkah: Thanksgiving & Hanukkah To Occur At the Same Time

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Oct 08, 2013 01:38 PM EDT

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Thanksgivukkah is coming. You read that correctly. In an extremely rare occurrence, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah will occur at the same time.

Thanksgivukkah hasn't happened since 1888 and it might not happen for another 79,043 years, the Associated Press reports. People have already been taking advantage of the rare occurrence by creating songs, products and even recipes. Rabbi David Paskin, who heads the Schechter Academy in Norwood, Mass.,  is proud that his school is close to Plymouth Rock. He's celebrating the occasion by creating a song called "The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah," with lyrics like "Imagine Judah Maccabee, sitting down to roast turkey and passing the potatoes to Squanto ..."

"It's pretty amazing to me that in this country we can have rich secular and rich religious celebrations and that those of us who live in both worlds can find moments when they meet and can really celebrate that convergence. There are a lot of places in the world where we would not be able to do that," Paskin told the AP.

A 9-year-old boy has invented the "Menurkey," a Turkey-shaped menorah which he has raised $48,000 on Kickstarter to trademark.

The Jewish holiday often changes from year to year due to the Jewish calendar. However  Thanksgiving generally occurs at the same time. Ever since 1863, Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday of November. This remained the same ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress in 1942 to have it set as the fourth Thursday of November as there are sometimes five Thursdays during the month.

According to Jewish practice, the first candle of the eight-day Hanukkah celebration must be lit the night before Thanksgiving day, so technically Thanksgivukkah falls on the second night of the celebration.

Dana Gitell, of Boston, partnered with an artist and the Jewish gift site Moderntribe to create souvenir T-shirts, cards and posters for the special day which will be sold. She says that 10 percent of the proceeds will go towards the Jewish hunger relief organization, Mazon. She doesn't think

 "It's just a day when Jews and the rest of America are celebrating on the same day," Gitell told AP. "It's an opportunity for us to really celebrate the Jewish American experience, and to give thanks in America for the religious freedom we enjoy here, and for making the Jewish American experience possible."

Jews may be able to incorporate creative recipes into their holiday meals for both holidays including pumpkin latkes, apple-cranberry sauce and deep fried turkey.

 

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