This year is like no other that has come before and no other that will come again in our lifetime, because for the first time Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap. On November 28th the two holidays will occur on the same day for the first time ever, and for the last time in over 75,000 years. And out of the mouth of babes – our 9-year-old son’s mouth that is – came an idea which we thought was not only fun, but a great way to commemorate the occurrence and learn about the two holidays at the same time!
So what is a Menurkey?
The Menurkey is a menorah shaped like a turkey. An amazing conversation starter, an objet d’art, a functioning menorah and the perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table, the Menurkey will fascinate for years to come. Think about it – this is the one and only time in history that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will coincide. Statistical probabilities suggest that this event that will not happen again until the year 79811, if it happens again at all.
Hanukkah and Thanksgiving…huh?
The reason Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap this year is because the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years. Which is correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. But Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863 (which is why it has never happened before). It may not happen again because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years. This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving. Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79811.