Thanksgivukkah Is Rare Mash-Up of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah
It turns out Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have a lot in common, even when they don't fall on the same day.
For the first time since 1888—and the last time until the year 79,811—the first day of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will coincide with the American observance of Thanksgiving. By contrast, Hanukkah—which commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Maccabean military victory over the Syrians in 168 B.C.—far more typically occurs closer to Christmas, in December.
(Read "Thanksgiving 2013: What to Know About Turkey Day.")
Thanksgivukkah, as this year's double-holiday convergence has been dubbed, is happening because of the difference between two calendars.
The date of Thanksgiving is determined by the Gregorian calendar, which is solar, while Hanukkah is set by the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar. In the lunisolar calendar, months are calculated according to the moon