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.

Fall Semester 2020

Date Observance Religion Description
August 28-29 Ashura Muslim Also known as Yawm Ashura, Ashura is the tenth day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. It marks the day that Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala.
September 16 Vishwakarma Puja Hindu Day of celebration for Vishwakarma, a Hindu god, the Divine architect.
September 17 Mahalaya Amavasya Hindu Day of paying homage to ancestors.
September 19-20 *Rosh Hashanah Judaism The Jewish New Year.
September 21 Fast of Gedaliah (fast begins at dawn) Judaism Lament the assassination of Gedaliash, the righteous governor of Judah.
September 28 *Yom Kippur Judaism Also know as the Day of Atonement, it is the holiest day of the year in Judaism.
October 3-4 *Sukkot (first days) Judaism Feast of Tabernacles.
October 5-9 Sukkot (intermediate days) Judaism Feast of Tabernacles.
October 10 *Shemini Atzeret Judaism Eighth Day of Assembly.
October 11 *Simchat Torah Judaism Day of Celebrating the Torah.
October 17 Navaratri begins Hindu Navaratri is the Hindu festival that celebrates the battle and victory of god Rama over the demon king Ravana.
October 17 Birth of the Báb Baha’i Celebration of the Birth of Bab (founder of Bábism).
October 18 Birth of Bahá’u’lláh Baha’i Celebration of the Birth Bahá’u’lláh (founder of Baha’i).
October 20 Birth of the Guru Granth Sikh Celebration of the Birth of Guru Granth.
October 25 Dusshera Hindu Festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil.
October 26 Navaratri Ends Hindu
October 29-30 Mawlid al-Nabi Muslim Celebration of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
October 30 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 13 Dhan Teras Hindu Marks the first day of Diwali.
November 14 Diwali Hindu Festival of lights celebrating victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
November 14 Bandi Chhor Divas Sikh Sikh holiday which coincides with the day of Diwali.
November 22 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 or 28 Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Baha’i Holy day that commemorates the death of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
November 29 First Sunday in Advent Christian/Catholic Start of the Advent season.
November 30 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.
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 11-18 Chanukah Judaism The Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the Festival of Lights.
December 25 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 Celebration of the Birth of Jesus.

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 Judiasm 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 19 Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary Christian/Catholic Feast day for St. Joesph.
March 25 The Annunciation of the Lord Christian/Catholic 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 30 Lag BaOmer Judaism Occurs on the 33rd day of the Omer, the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot.
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 Commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the disciples.
May 30 The Most Holy Trinity Christian/Catholic Celebrates the Christian Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
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