We get pretty holiday crazy around these parts. If there’s a chance for holiday-themed crafting and speciality candy eating, you can bet that we’re grabbing the opportunity to play with art supplies and get a sugar high. This year, is the first and only year, that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will ever overlap. Nine-year-old Asher Weintraub was so excited by the thought of his two favorite holidays colliding that he created a “Menurkey” using the 3D modeling platform Tinkercad. After refining the design, Asher’s parents helped him connect with the folks at Makerbot, who printed out the 3D prototype, then the family found a ceramic artist (Connie Smith) to help turn the plastic prototype into a ceramic one. Once they were satisfied with the prototype design, they put the project on Kickstarter to raise money for the production. The Menurkey has been a wild success, and I think one of the great things about this project is how the technology allowed the creativity of a 9-year-old to shine.With the increase in 3D printing availability, anyone with a great idea (even a 9-year-old) can make a prototype, but finding the money for production would have been nearly impossible without Kickstarter. If you missed out on supporting the project with Kickstarter, you should still watch the sweet video they made for the project and then buy your own Menurkey from the family here. (Order before November 19 to be sure that you get yours by Thanksgiving + Hanukkah!) –Amy
ps – If you’d like to go a more traditional route, Grace made a great roundup right here.
Image above: Menurkey Ceramic/Plaster Prototype 2 (w/Jewish Calendar year)
The best explanation for why Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap this year is from the Menurkey Kickstarter page. Here goes:
The reason Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap this year is because the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years. Which is correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. But Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863 (which is why it has never happened before). It may not happen again because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years. This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah 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. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79811.