Students celebrate Thanksgivukkah

A unique menorah lit by Jefferson students in celebration of Thanksgivikkuh.

A unique menorah lit by Jefferson students in celebration of Thanksgivikkuh.

Stav Nachum, Sports Editor

This year, a unique experience occurred on Nov. 28 when the lunar Hebrew calendar and the solar Gregorian calendar had the first night of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day. This rare occurrence that happened only twice between 1863 and 2013 attracted media attention and coined the name ‘Thanksgivukkah’. Many Jefferson students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, celebrated this unique phenomenon with their friends and family.

“The idea of combining a secular holiday like Thanksgiving with a religious holiday is something that rarely happens,” junior Andrew Haymaker said. “It’s a moment where as a family we are able to light the menorah before we eat a wonderful Thanksgiving meal and it really had something special to it.”

With media spreading word and providing cause for festivities, many Jefferson students celebrated the day in a variety of creative traditions they invented for this special event.

“Being both Jewish and half-Catholic, I always go to my Catholic family for Thanksgiving, so it was a little weird,” said senior Carrie Murton. “As a result the most Thanksgivukkah-ish thing I did was making pecan pie rugelach, which was a combination of traditional Thanksgiving and Jewish desserts.”

Though most enjoyed the assortment of foods and interesting combinations by creating unique mixtures of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah foods, some also celebrated in other ways through lighting their Hanukkah candles in specially made Thanksgiving themed menorahs or other interesting combinations of the two holidays that they fashioned for themselves.

“My mom made food that combined traditional Thanksgiving foods with what we normally eat for Hanukkah,” junior Steven Androphy said. “We had latkes, sweet potato kugel, and stuffing made from challah. It was a great way to celebrate both holidays.”

Whether Jewish or not, this day was a unique experience that will likely not happen for several decades since the Jewish and Gregorian calendars have different year lengths and often drift out of synch with each other.

Though the Thanksgiving festivities have now come to a close, the merriments for those celebrating Hanukkah continue allowing Jewish students to spend the rest of their festive holiday solely focused on lighting their menorahs.

“Hanukkah is a celebrated by lighting the candles as a family on a traditional menorah that reminds us of the sanctity of the holiday,” Haymaker said. “Though the special event of Thanksgivukkah is over, our celebration of Hanukkah continues.”