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Updated: Tuesday, December 10 2013, 02:14 PM EST
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- It wont happen again for thousands of years, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, at the same time.

Thanksgiving recalls a harvest feast in 1621, with Plymouth colonists and Native Americans. 

Hanukkah commemorates a victory by Jewish freedom fighters more than 2,500years ago.

Wednesday night, Jews around the world light the first of eight candles on the menorah.  Most are less elaborate than the historic menorahs at Hebrew Union College. An additional candle is lit for a total of eight nights.  That recalls an ancient miracle when there was only enough oil to burn for one day at the temple in Jerusalem but the oil burned for eight.

A ninth candle is used to light the others.

The idea was that every day was equal, so that an additional light, the shamash, or helper, would light each candle in its own way and its own specialness, so that no candle was taller than the others, no candle was more important representing no day was more important.

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are at the same time this year because Thanksgiving is later than usual, and Hanukkah is earlier than usual.

Actually, Hanukkah never changes on the lunar Jewish calendar, but it fluctuates from late November to December when lined up with the secular calendar.

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