MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It has been nearly four decades since the first night of Hanukkah fell on the day before Christmas.
The last time it happened was in 1978, according to Jewish website Chabad.org.
So how did the holidays line up this year?
While Christmas Eve always falls on the same day of the year, the 24th of December, so too does the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the 8-day celebration of the “rededication” of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem when Jews revolted against their Greek-Syrian oppressors, as the legend has it.
It’s the same night every year: the 25th of the month of Kislev.
The only difference is that western society operates on the Gregorian calendar, not the Hebrew calendar. The Hebrew calendar determines the dates for Jewish holidays and days of observance, which fluctuate from year to year.
Hanukkah typically falls anywhere from November 27 to December 26.
This year marks the fourth time since 1900 the ‘Festival of Lights’ has fallen on Christmas Eve (1902, 1940, 1978). Hanukkah has also fallen on Christmas Day four times in that same span (1910, 1921, 1959, 2005).