Thanksgivukkah – The four-syllable, made-up holiday is fun to say, and while it’s not the beloved “Festivus for the rest of us” as made popular by Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza, it certainly is a fusion of traditional holidays worthy of an extra helping of cranberries, or latkes if you prefer.
“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,” says The Associated Press on Oct. 7 via ABC News.
“Get ready for the greatest Jewish American mashup ever – Thanksgivukkah, says the holiday’s Facebook site.
How did Thanksgivukkah come about?
In a calendar oddity, this year Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah will coincide. How rare is this? It hasn’t happened since the mid 1800s, and the next time it may occur would be approximately 80,000 years from now. Talk about a once in a lifetime event.
The AP report explains:
“In 1863, Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November (the month sometimes has five of those) and the holiday remained there until President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress fixing it as the fourth Thursday, starting in 1942. Since 1863, Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah on the Gregorian calendar have not overlapped.”
Retailers are cashing in on the invented word, much like the "Menurkey" idiom, a menorah and turkey combination. But there are many who see the holiday as a real opportunity, and not just for making some extra cash.
“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,” says Rabbi David Paskin.
So get out your menorah and carving knife. Gobble Tov!