Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have always existed side-by-side, but only twice has the two holidays coincided. On November 28th, 2028 and November 22nd, 2079 the festival of lights and the national holiday of feasting will once again cross paths after an almost 50-year absence. But when and why does this happen?
When Will Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Coincide Again?
The next time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will coincide is November 28th 2028. This is the first time in nearly 50 years that this has happened, and it’s likely to spark renewed interest in the intertwined history of the two holidays.
The coincidence of these two holidays is due to the way the Jewish calendar is calculated. The Jewish calendar is based on a lunar cycle, and has been used for roughly 4,000 years. As you might expect, the lunar cycle does not exactly match the Gregorian calendar (the one the rest of the world uses). To ensure that all holidays happen in their “correct” seasons, priests and astronomers, known as “hakhamim,” have added months and adjusted the calendar.
In the Gregorian calendar, Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November. Since Hanukkah can cause to change the Jewish calendar up to two months from year to year, it sometimes can align with Thanksgiving. This is a rare occurrence, and will only happen when both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are in November, allowing them to be part of the same calendar year.
Previous Hanukkah-Thanksgiving Coincidences
Previously, the last time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped was in 1888, and it remained that way until the 21st century. Then, it happened once again in 2013, when Hanukkah began on Thanksgiving. This was an exciting event, as Orthodox Jews celebrated their holidays simultaneously. It was widely celebrated and deemed “Thanksgivukkah.”
The date when these two holidays coincide is sure to draw attention, and it’s likely that the trend around culture and food combinations will only increase. For those celebrating both holidays, recipes such as “turkekkah” (a combination of turkey and sufganiyot, a traditional Hanukkah pastry).
The Next Thanksgiving-Hanukkah Coincidence
The next Thanksgiving-Hanukkah coincidence won’t happen until November 28th in 2028. This means festivities will have to wait over 10 years until the two holidays finally overlap again. Regardless, it’s an exciting event as the two holidays have been intertwined for centuries.
The combination of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah is a rare event, but its powerful symbolism as both a religious holiday and a national US holiday can’t be overstated. The attention to the coincidence of the two holidays has only increased in the past decade and will be at an all-time high when it finally comes around again in 2028. It’s sure to be a historic and unique moment, offering an opportunity for both Jewish and non-Jewish families to celebrate the many sides of their heritage.
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Last update 2023-11-27. Price and product availability may change.