Thanksgivingukkah: Two Holidays in One, and Just This Once

Happy Thanksgivingukkah!

As a child, I had a couple of friends whose birthdays fell on or near Christmas Day. I remember thinking that sounded pretty great – that it would make both celebrations more special. In reality, though, my friends felt like they were getting a raw deal. Instead of two celebrations, they only got one, and they had to share it!

This month has its own combined celebration: in an incredibly unique overlap, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both fall on November 28. This once-in-a-lifetime coincidence is made possible by an unusually early Hanukkah, and the fact that Thanksgiving falls on the latest date it can possibly occur.

Mathematician Jonathan Mizrahi has worked out some fascinating information about this unique overlap, which the internet has dubbed “Thanksgivingukkah.” The last time this occurred was in 1888. The next time won’t be until the year 79811.

Yes, you read that right: this is the last Thanksgivingukkah for more than seventy-seven thousand years!

Remembering my friends with the Christmas birthdays, I think I’ll send two cards to my Jewish friends this November: one for Thanksgiving and one for Hanukkah.

How are you celebrating this once-in-a-thousand-lifetimes occasion? Let us know in the comments.

Happy Thanksgivingukkah!