For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will converge. That’s right, Thanksgivukkah! And we won’t get the chance to celebrate it again for 78,000 years. This calendar oddity has resulted in some really fun – and feasty – mash-ups. Buzzzfeed offers up potato latkes with cranberry applesauce and pecan pie rugalah. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will feature a spinning dreidel balloon. There are menurkey menorahs, “challahday” cards and chocolate coins that read “gobble tov”. Sounds like a lot of fun, especially if the alternative is eight days of leftover turkey.
Why the alignment between the festival of fowl and the festival of lights?
So, why is this Hanukkah different from all others? While Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Hanukkah is a moving target because it’s based on the lunar Hebrew calendar, which has 29-day months. The Hebrew calendar adds a 13th month every few years, to ensure that Passover is always celebrated in spring and the harvest festival of Sukkot in fall. This is why Hanukkah can swing from late November to late December. Thanks to these quirks, November 28th is the latest possible day for Thanksgiving, and the earliest possible day for Hanukkah, which begins at sundown, November 27. Though associated with Christmas because of its timing, some theologians are saying that the holiday has more in common with Thanksgiving, as both celebrate freedom from religious persecution. They also both feature a large food component (what’s a good holiday without that?) and offer plenty of opportunity for family fun.
How to Make the Most of Thanksgivukkah
Of course you will want delicious, celebratory, unusual food and fun. If you notice an emphasis on the sweet in these recipes, it’s because every holiday should contain much sweetness, as well a dollop of Hanukkah’s traditional oil.
Pumpkin Challah from the Jew and the Carrot
Potato Latkes topped with Turkey and Cranberry Chutney from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Apple Spiced Latkes with Cinnamon Yogurt Caramel Sauce from What Jew Wanna Eat
Pumpkin Kugel from Thanksgivukkah Boston
Manischewitz Brined Turkey from BuzzFeed
Challah Stuffing with Turkey Sausage, Leeks and Cherries from Little Ferraro Kitchen
Delicata Squash and Sage Biscuits from PBS Food. (These have nothing to do with Hanukkah, but they look so good I had to include them.)
Spiced Pumpkin Sufganiyots (Doughnuts for Hanukkah) with Turkey and Gravy or Turkey and Cranberry made to order from Zucker Bakery.
More Cranberry Filled Sufganivots (Doughnuts) from Thanksgivukkah Boston
Pecan Pie Rugelach from BuzzFeed
Chocolate Cranberry Cake with Gelt Glaze from What Jew Wanna Eat
Acorn Dreidels from Reci-Bee
The Menurkey (menorah turkey), the invention of 9-year-old Asher Weintraub
Thanksgivukkah Scarf from Zazzle
American Gothic Thanksgivukkah poster from Modern Tribe
Challahday Card from Manischewitz
A version of this post originally appeared on Bookboard
More Thanksgiving and Fall Fun from Slow Family: