Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap

Some families are celebrating two holidays this week. For the first time in more than 100 years, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. 

At work in Stevens Point, Patricia Caro runs through her holiday to-do list.

"Potato pancakes is a lot a lot of work because you're cooking potatoes and grading potatoes and the onions from scratch and then you have to squeeze out all the excess water and then you have to cook it in an oil," said Caro.

That's what she'll be making for Hanukkah. But she has another holiday meal to prepare this week, too - Thanksgiving dinner.

"I know it's so strange that this is happening at the same time. It's very unusual," said Caro.

"Surprising everyone, the fact is that Hanukkah happens to be on Thanksgiving," said Ed Miller, a UWSP professor and adviser to the Jewish Culture Organization.

On the first night of the eight-day celebration, the national Hanukkah menorah was lit at the White House.

"Hanukkah is actually a very small holiday. It's celebrating the oil that was supposed to last one day in the temple in Jerusalem actually lasted eight days," said Miller.

With Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlapping, more Jewish families have a chance to celebrate together.

"It will make a very unusual and probably happy Hanukkah," said Miller.

"It's all about family. What I love about Hanukkah is it's a celebration of freedom," said Caro. "Thanksgiving too is a about celebration of the birth of the US so they're very similar in orientation but the prayers obviously would be very different for Hanukkah."

Like many Jewish families, Caro's plans on celebrating both.

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