Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgivingukkah: The Latest American Holiday?

Even though it only comes once in every 70,000 years, does Thanksgivingukkah truly qualify as a bona-fide American holiday? 

By: Ringo Bones

May be the fact that it only comes once in every 70,000 years that nobody in America, never mind elsewhere in the world, seems to really care if Thanksgivingukkah is a bona-fide holiday or not, it seems that everyone is just celebrating it in blissful ignorance.  Never mind Thanksgivingukkah becoming the latest addition of the American English lexicon. But indeed, it has an origin story that legitimizes its claim as a bona-fide American holiday. 

It may have been the fact that this 2013 Thanksgiving and the first day of the Jewish High Holiday Hanukkah both fell on the same day. The “Thanksgiving” part of Thanksgivingukkah may be over but there still are a few days of gift giving left for Hanukkah 2013. But unbeknown to most of us, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah could have a very justifiable reason to share a kinship with beyond a quirk of the Gregorian Calendar that we won’t be seeing another Thanksgiving and Hanukkah combo for another 70,000 years. 

Believe it or not, both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are born out of a civil war. Hanukkah’s origins were the Macabbean Revolt of 167 to 160 BC which was for all intents and purposes a civil war that set the salient theme of Hanukkah. And despite its 17th Century Puritan theme of the American Thanksgiving, it was during the American Civil War when the then US President Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed that the last Thursday of November be designated as Thanksgiving as a morale booster for his Union troops back in 1863. Even if Thanksgivingukkah is nothing more than a combination of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah just because a quirk in the Gregorian Calendar made them both fell on the last Thursday of November this 2013, we won’t be obliged to celebrate it for the next 69,000 years.