Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Chanukah Will Fall Out on Thanksgiving This Year...

For the First Time Ever Chanukah will be on Thanksgiving this year~and it will Never happen again!

Of  the many emails that are making the rounds, I decided this was interesting enough to share it via a post.

This year, we will be celebrating the first night of Chanukah on Thanksgiving, so you can expect to see turkey and latkes on the table.

This is the only time it will ever happen. Unbelievable? Read on to see the explanation!! Mathoholics will love this one...

I can now share the answer for which you have seen searching for all these years (to a problem for which no one gave one second of brain energy before now). Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is 28 November. As it happens, 28 November is also the earliest Chanukah can be. The Jewish calendar repeats on a nineteen year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a seven year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19 x 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, in reality, it has never happened before. 

Why won't it 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 four days per one thousand years. This means that while presently Chanukah can be as early as 28 November, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Chanukah can be is 29 November. The next time Chanukah falls on 28 November is 2146, which is a Monday. Therefore, 2013 is the only time Chanukah 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.

This would mean that Chanukah would again fall on Thursday, 28 the year 79,811.

Given all the odds for global disaster, including comets, meteors, nuclear wars and the sun just burning out there is a pretty good chance there will be no humans left on earth. And if there are no humans~the holidays will be cancelled!

So on 28 November 2013, 
Enjoy your Turkey and your Latkes.

It has Never happened before, 
...and it will Never happen again!

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