‘Thanksgivukkah’ Is Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For the first time in a long time, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day – Thursday, Nov. 28.

The new holiday is being called “Thanksgivukkah.”

Like most big holidays, this new one means lots of time will be spent in the kitchen.

Tracy Truesdell is Jewish, but her husband isn’t. So, their family is used to getting creative when celebrating with their boys.

“We mix a lot of holidays together,” Truesdell said. “I made a list of all the Hanukkah gifts that Hanukkah Harry will probably bring to our house and a lot of them are Thanksgiving related because the weekend is Thanksgiving weekend.”

According to Rabbi Jeremy Fine of Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Jewish holidays follow the lunar calendar. The secular dates change from year to year, and in 2013, the Jewish holidays are very early.

“I think every family will do something unique and different this year,” Rabbi Fine said. “Some won’t celebrate Thanksgiving, maybe who have in the past because sometimes their Jewish holiday will take priority.”

While Thanksgiving lacks religious symbolism, it does heavily involve food, which is a big part of many Jewish holiday traditions.

Many families planning to celebrate Thanksgivukkah are finding ways to meaningfully combine their religious and secular traditions.

“Instead of mashed potatoes, we’ll make latkes,” Truesdell said. “I’m a very traditional cooker, so I prefer just regular potato latkes.”

Whether they’re kept separate or celebrated together, this holiday is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“The next time it’ll happen is about 77,000 years, where Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide,” Rabbi Fine said.

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