Celebrating Thanksgiving Holiday and Hanukkah at the Same Time

 

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah
(Healingtalks)
Conjoining these two holidays at the same time, let us first look at the history of their origin.

History of Thanksgiving Feast and Black Friday

Way back in 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians sat down together to share an autumn harvest dinner. This is  acknowledged as one of the first of many Thanksgiving celebrations. Over two centuries later, in 1863, and after many more feasts were  celebrated in the colonies, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day an annual national holiday (on the 4th Thursday of  each November). Overtime, it became a family tradition to get together and have turkey for Thanksgiving with cranberry sauce and the like. Later in the 20th century, Black Friday and Thanksgiving became associated, with “Black Friday” being a day retailer turn a profit or went into the black, becoming the busiest US shopping day since 2003.

We try to forget that the colonists destroyed much of American Indian culture, and the Indians themselves, still there were bright moments where the two cultures met in spiritually supportive ways and which seem better to remember.

History of Hanukkah, Festival of Lights

The Jewish holiday Hanukkah, as sometimes spelled as Chanukah or Chanukkah), and known as the Festival of Lights and Feast of Dedication, is an eight day long holiday. It recalls the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, actually the second great temple which had been desecrated by the Greek Syrians. This was during the time of the Maccabean Revolt when they won over the Greek Syrians to maintain a national Jewish survival in Israel and religious freedom, The timing of the holiday follows the Hebrew calendar, and falls on the 25th day of Kislev, occurring sometime in November or December of the Gregorian or western calendar.

The ritual of the Hanukkah festival includes lighting candles placed on a nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one more each of the eight nights of celebration. Though only one unopened flask with oil was found in the Temple, enough to light the Menorah there for one day. The Menorah apparently stayed lit for eight days and which, by tradition, is why the holiday is celebrated for that span of time.

Thanksgivukkah- Thanksgiving and Hanukkah at the Same Time

Needless to say, both holidays involve some joyous thanksgiving or commemorating historical events we can be grateful for. To rejoice at having both holidays at once, chefs have even created Thanksgivukkah Recipes. The most common food on the Hanukkah table is fried potato pancakes, known as Latkes in Yiddish. Like Christmas, Hanukah is a gift-giving holiday, cherished by children, and deserts rule. Thus a great combination dish for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah is a good pumpkin pie alongside of a cranberry applesauce mix. Applesauce usually accompanies the latkes of Hanukkah and cranberry sauce accompanies the traditional turkey meal.

We are planning to celebrate the two holidays together this evening, and at a special vegan event among a few friends at the local Green Earth store meeting room, I must thus include a link for the top ten Thanksgiving raw vegan recipes  as well as Dr. Ritamarie’s Vibrant Living “Hanukkah in the Raw”  Latkes recipe.

For some it is an opportunity to celebrate being an American and Jew, remembering the best of respective cultural traditions.

Coinciding Times Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

The two holidays have no occurred on the same day since 1888, and it is estimate that this may not happen again for some 79,000 years, give or take just a few centuries! So enjoy the double enjoyment and double thankfulness while you can.

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