Hanukkah will be on Thanksgiving Day this year. So, in Jewish homes, expect to see turkey and latkes on the table. Hahaha! This is a very unique event.

it will never happen. Never again! Read below to see the explanation:

Hanukkah will be on Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is November 28th. November 28th is also the earliest Hanukkah can be. 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. Looking back, this is approximately correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. However, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863. So, it has never happened before.

Why it won’t ever happen again:

The reason is 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 November 28th,
over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The next time Hanukkah falls on November 28th is 2146, which is 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 would again fall on Thursday, November 28th…in the year 79,811. Given our trajectory with global warming, it is fair to say humans won’t be here then. And if there are no humans, the holidays will be cancelled.

So on November 28th 2013, enjoy your turkey and your latkes. It has never happened before, and it will never happen again.

About this entry