A listing of the current semester's religious observances. Please note that most Muslim and Jewish holy days begin at sundown before the actual day.

* Indicates religious observance that may interfere with academic work. Please be mindful when assigning work on these days.

Spring Semester 2021

Date Observance Religion Description
January 1 Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God Christian/Catholic Feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ.
January 13 Lohri Sikh Lohri marks the end of winter, and is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere.
January 28 15 Shevat – New Year for Trees Judaism The day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. Commonly known as Tu Bishvat, this day marks the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
February 17 Ash Wednesday Christian/Catholic Marks the beginning of Lent.
February 17 – March 29 *Lent Christian/Catholic Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days.
February 21 Maha Shivaratri Hindu Celebrated annually in honor of Lord Shiva. This solemn festival marks a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance.
February 21 First Sunday of Lent Christian/Catholic Start of lent, a 40 day time period that represents repentance, fasting and reflection.
February 25 Fast of Esther (fast begins at dawn) Judaism The fast commemorates one of two events in the Book of Esther: either Esther and the Jewish community of Shushan having fasted for 3 days and 3 nights before she approached the king (Esther 4:16), or a fast which is presumed to have occurred on the 13th of Adar, when the Jews fought a battle against their enemies.
February 26 Purim Judaism Commemorates the (Divinely orchestrated) salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian empire from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews.
February 27 Shushan Purim Judaism In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of Joshua, Purim was celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as Shushan Purim, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar.
March 9-10 Holi Hindu Represents the arrival of spring and triumph of good over evil.
March 11 Isra and Mi’raj Muslim The Israʾ and Miʿraj are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad took during a single night around the year 621.
March 15 – May 1 Lent Orthodox Christian A season of fasting, reflection, and preparation before Easter. To
replicate the sacrifice and withdrawal of Jesus into the desert.
March 19 Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary Christian/Catholic Feast day for St. Joseph.
March 25 The Annunciation of the Lord Christian/Catholic/Orthodox Christian Feast day celebrating angel Gabriel visit to Mary and Mary’s consent to give birth to Jesus.
March 28-29 *Pesach/Passover (First days) Judaism Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
March 30 – April 2 Pesach/Passover (Intermediate days) Judaism
April 1 Holy Thursday Christian/Catholic Commemorates the Washing of the Feet and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
April 2 Good Friday Christian/Catholic Commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.
April 3-4 *Pesach/Passover (Last days) Judaism
April 4 Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord Christian/Catholic Commemorating the resurrection of Jesus.
April 13 – May 12 (Dates subject to change based on lunar calendar) *Ramadan Begins Muslim A holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims, the followers of Islam. It is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims.
April 14 Vaisakhi Sikh Commemorates the formation of Khalsa panth of warriors under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
April 26 – May 1 Holy Week Orthodox Christian Week remembering the final week of the life of Jesus.
April 30 Lag BaOmer Judaism Occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot.
May 2 Pascha (Easter) Orthodox Christian On the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, Orthodox Christians
celebrate the life-giving Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ.
May 7-8 Pesach Sheni Judaism Marks the day when someone who was unable to participate in the Passover offering in the proper time would observe the mitzvah exactly one month later.
May 12 Eid ul-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Muslim
May 13 The Ascension of the Lord Christian/Catholic Celebration of the assent of Jesus into Heaven.
May 17-18 *Shavuot Judaism Festival of Weeks, commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
May 23 Pentecost Sunday Christian/Catholic Celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after
his Ascension.
May 30 The Most Holy Trinity Christian/Catholic Celebrates the Christian Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

Summer Semester 2021

Date Observance Religion Description
June 3 Corpus Christi Sunday Christian/Catholic The feast of Corpus Christi, also known as Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Western Orthodox liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
June 10 Ascension Orthodox Christian The Feast commemorates when, on the fortieth day after His
Resurrection, Jesus led His disciples to the Mount of Olives, and after blessing them and asking them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, He ascended into heaven.
June 11 Solemnity of the Most Sacred
Heart of Jesus
Christian/Catholic The literal heart of Jesus is viewed as his love for all of humanity.
June 12 The Immaculate Heart of
Mary
Christian/Catholic The interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus Christ, and her motherly love and compassion for all of mankind.
June 20 Pentecost Orthodox Christian Pentecost (also called Trinity Day or Descent of the Holy Spirit)
June 24 Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist Christian/Catholic The feast of the Nativity is celebrated with an all night Vigil to celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, Jesus’ precursor and relative.
July 9 Martyrdom of the Báb Bahá’í This event commemorates the events surrounding the death of the Bab in 1850.
July 12 Puri Rath Yatra Hindu Festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri, India. The day commemorates Jagannath’s annual visit to Gundicha Temple vua Mausi Maa Temple near Saradha Bali.
July 18 Tisha B’Av Judaism Begins the night before sundown, A day of fast and mourning on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon’s Temple and the Second Temple.
July 19 Waqf al Arafa – Hajj Muslim Islamic observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy. Pilgrims stay awake at night to pray on the hill of Arafat , the site where Muhammad delivered his last sermon.
July 20 Eid al Adha Muslim Muslim festival marking the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham.
July 24 Guru Purnima Hindu Tradition dedicated to all the spiritual and academic Gurus.
July 29 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and
Paul
Christian/Catholic A liturgical feast in honor of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
August 6 The Transfiguration of the
Lord
Christian/Catholic The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event to celebrate where Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant in glory upon a mountain.
August 9 Hijra – Islamic New Year Muslim It uses Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina to mark the beginning of the Muslim lunar calendar which is now in its 15th century–1443.
August 12-23 Onam Hindu Annual harvest festival celebrated to honor the kind-hearted and much beloved King Mahabali.
August 13 Naga Panchami Hindu Traditional worship of Nagas or snakes.
August 15 The Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Christian A feast day to honor the bodily taking up of Mary, mother of Jesus, into Heaven.
August 15 Solemnity of the Assumption Christian/Catholic A feast day to honor the bodily taking up of Mary, mother of Jesus, into Heaven.
August 17-18 Tish’a B’Av Judaism A day of fast and mourning on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon’s Temple and
the Second Temple.
August 18 Day of Ashura in Muharram Muslim (Muharram the first month of the Hijri calendar)–This is a Day of Remembrance in the Islamic Calendar.
August 20 Varalakshmi Vrat Hindu Festival to propitiate the Goddess Lakshmi, who grants boons.
August 22 Raksha Bandhan Hindu Traditional ceremony to celebrate any brother-sister like relationship.
August 23 Onam Ends Hindu Annual harvest festival celebrated to honor the kind-hearted and much beloved King Mahabali.
August 30 Krishna Janmashtami Hindu Annual festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.

Fall Semester 2021

Date Observance Religion Description
September
6-8
Rosh Hashanah Judaism The Jewish New Year.
September 8 Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Christian The Nativity of the Theotokos, celebrating the birth of Mary, is one of the Twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Orthodox liturgical year.
September 9 Fast of Gedaliah (fast begins at dawn)  Judaism Lament the assassination of Gedaliash, the righteous govern of Judah.
September 14 The Exaltion of the Cross Orthodox Christian A feast in commemoration of the historical recovery of the true cross from the Persians and its return to Jerusalem.
September 15-16 *Yom Kippur Judaism Also know as the Day of Atonement, it is the holist day of the year in Judaism. 
September 27 HoShanah Raba Judaism Begins the night before at sundown.
September 28 *Shemini Atzeret Judaism Eighth Day of Assembly.
September 29 *Simchat Torah Judaism Day of Celebrating the Torah.
October 6 Mahalaya Amavasya Hindu Day of paying homage to ancestors.
October 7 Navaratri begins Hindu Navaratri is the Hindu festival that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.
October 14 Buddha’s Return to Heaven Buddhist Celebrating to observe the Buddha’s descent from the Trayastrimsa
heaven down to earth.
October 15 Navaratri Ends Hindu Navaratri is the Hindu festival that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.
October 15 Dusshera Hindu Festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil.
October 18/19 Milad un Nabi Muslim (Muslims have differences of opinion whether or not to celebrate mawlid/mawlid al-Nabi or the Prophet’s birthday–
It is commemorated in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.)
October 19 Sharad Purnima Hindu Harvest festival marking the end of the monsoon season.
November 1 All Saint’s Day Christian/Catholic Christian festival celebrated in honor of all the saints.
November 2 All Soul’s Day Christian/Catholic A day of remembrance for all of the deceased.
November 2 Dhan Teras Hindu Marks the first day of Diwali.
November 4 Diwali Hindu Festival of lights celebrating victory of light over darkens, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
November 4 Bandi Chhor Divas Sikh Sikh holiday which coincides with the day of Diwali.
November 6 Birth of the Báb Baha’i Celebration of the Birth of Bab (founder of Bábism).
November 7 Birth of Bahá’u’lláh Baha’i Celebration of the Birth Bahá’u’lláh (founder of Baha’i).
November 19 Guru Nanak Birthday Sikh Guru Nanak, also referred to as Baba Nanak, was the founder of Sikhism and is the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.
November 21 The Entrance Into the Temple of the Theotokos Orthodox Christian The Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on November 21 each year. The Feast commemorates when as a young child, the Virgin Mary entered the Temple in Jerusalem.
November 21 Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe Christian/Catholic Feast day in honor of Jesus Christ as Lord over all creation.
November 24-25 Day of the Covenant Baha’i The Day of the Covenant is the day when Baháʼís celebrate the
appointment of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá as the Centre of Baha’u’llah’s Covenant.
November 27-28 Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Baha’i Holy day that commemorates the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
November 28 First Sunday in Advent Christian/Catholic Start of the Advent season.
November 28 Chanukah Judaism The Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the Festival of Lights.
November 29 Hanukkah Starts Judaism Festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple.
December 6 Hanukkah Ends Judaism Festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple.
December 8 The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Christian/Catholic Day of celebration for belief in the immaculate conception of the virgin Mary.
December 14 Fast of 10 Tevet (fast begins at dawn) Judaism Tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a fast day in Judaism.
December 25 The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas) Christian/Catholic/Orthodox Christian Celebration of the Birth of Jesus

 

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