Religious Holidays: 2019-2020 Academic Year

This is a list of religious and cultural holidays that students may need academic accommodations for. The calendar can be used by  instructors  developing class syllabi and for planning or by supervisors of student employees. Although many of these days are not university holidays, the information can be used by instructors or supervisors at their discretion when responding to student requests for accommodations for religious purposes. Making accommodations does not excuse a student of any course requirements, but rather supports adjustments to honor their religious observances. Reference the Accommodation of Religious Creed policy here.

This list is limited to religious holidays that affect a student’s ability to participate in usual course activities and is not intended to be inclusive of all religious observances. Please take special note of those holidays that have been designated non-work days by the religions that celebrate them. To facilitate communication between students, instructors and staff, the following form may be useful:

Student Request Form for Religious Accommodation

PLEASE NOTE:

  • #  These holidays have been designated non-work days by the religions that celebrate them.

  • ** Some of these dates are not fixed to a calendar but based on the actual sighting of the moon and therefore there may be some variance by a day.

  • Jewish and Islamic holy days begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed.

  • Every Friday from sundown until Saturday at sundown is the Jewish Sabbath.

HOLIDAY FAITH  DATE(S)

Eid al-Adha  **

Festival of Sacrifice. The day of Arafat, marks the end of Hajj.

 Islam  Aug. 12, 2019

Krishna Janmashtami 

Commemoration of the birth of Krishna,  the eighth incarnation of god Vishnu

Hindu Aug. 23, 2019

10th of Muharram**

The date of the Emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 622 CE Islamic New Year

Islam Aug. 31, 2019

Ashura

There is an optional fast this day. The Shi’a observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn, martyred on this day in 683/684 CE after the battle of Karbala. Sunni observance is related to numerous Biblical and Qur’anic events.

Islam Sept. 9-10, 2019

Rosh Hashanah #

Jewish New Year. A time of introspection, abstinence, and prayer.

 Jewish  Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2019

Fast of Gedaliah

The Fast of Gedaliah is a fast day to commemorate the assassination of Gedaliah, the officially charged with overseeing the Jewish population in Judah. 

 Jewish  Oct. 2, 2019

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) # 

The most solemn and holy day of the year in which Jews spend a day in fasting and prayer.

Jewish Oct. 8-9, 2019

Sukkot # 

Also known as the Feast of Tabernacles - celebrates the harvest and the protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents.

Jewish  Oct. 13-20, 2019

Birthday of the Bab # 

Baha’i observance of the anniversary of the birth in 1819 of Siyyid, “the Bab,” the prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, in Shiraz, Persia.

Bahá'í  Oct. 20, 2019

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah # 

Completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.

Jewish  Oct. 20-22, 2019

Diwali** 

Festival of lights symbolizing the human urges to move toward the light.

 HIndu Oct. 27-31, 2019

Bandi Chhor Diwas 

Observed as a “Day of Liberation” commemorating the release from prison of Guru Hargobind circa 1612

Sikh  Oct. 27, 2019

Birth of the Prophet Muhammad** 

Commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, about 570 CE.Not universally observed.

Islam Nov. 9-10, 2019

Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh # 

Anniversary of the birth in 1817 of Baha`u`llah, prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, in Nur, Persia.

Bahá'í  Nov. 12, 2019

Birth of Guru Nanak 

Celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, circa 1469, observed on the full moon day of November

Sikh Nov. 12, 2019

Ascension of Abdul Baha 

The Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha´ commemorates the death on Nov. 28, 1921—and, retrospectively, the life—of ‘Abdu’l-Baha´

Baha’i  Nov. 28, 2019

Christmas 

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts and family parties (per Gregorian Calendar).

Christian  Dec. 25, 2019

Kwanzaa 

Weeklong celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture.

Interfaith/African-American  Dec. 26, 2019 –Jan. 1, 2020

Feast of the Epiphany 

Celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.

Christian  Jan. 6, 2020

East Orthodox Christmas 

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties (per Julian Calendar).

Orthodox Christian  Jan. 7, 2020

Lunar New Year & Tet 

Begins a fifteen-day festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth.

Confucianism/Taoism/Buddhism  Jan. 25, 2020

Ash Wednesday 

Lent begins in Western Christianity.

Christian Feb. 26, 2020 

East Orthodox Beginning of Lent  

First day of the forty days of the Great Lent period, beginning on Clean Monday followed by distinct periods of fasting, Lazarus Saturday, and Palm Sunday, culminating in Holy Week.

Orthodox Christian  Mar. 2, 2020

Fast of Esther (Purim)

Jewish Mar. 9, 2029

Nowruz # 

Celebrating the first day of the new year, this is one of the nine Bahá'í holy days on which work is to be suspended. It is generally observed with a meeting for prayer and celebration.

Bahá'í / Zoroastrianism  Mar. 21, 2020

Fast of Bechorot 

Commemorates the miracle which spared the firstborn Jewish sons from plague.

Jewish  Apr. 8, 2020

Passover (Pesach) # 

Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.

Jewish  Apr. 8-16, 2020

Good Friday 

Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.

Christian Apr. 10, 2020

Easter 

The most holy of Christian Sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion.

Christian  Apr. 12, 2020

Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) 

Birth of Khalsa brotherhood, the Sikh New Year festival commemorating the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith.

Sikh Apr. 14, 2020

Eastern Orthodox Good Friday 

Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus and related events.

Orthodox Christian  Apr. 17, 2020

Eastern Orthodox Easter 

The most holy of Christian Sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion.

Orthodox Christian  Apr. 19, 2020

Ridvan # 

Commemorate the twelve days when Baha`u`llah, the prophet-founder, resided in a garden called Ridvan (Paradise) and publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age. The first (4/21), ninth (4/29), and twelfth (5/2) days are celebrated as holy days when Baha’i I’s suspend work.

Bahá'í  Apr. 21, 2020

Ramadan

The holiest period of the Islamic Year commemorating the Prophet Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation the Qur`an. A month of introspection, prayer, and devoted fasting from dawn to sunset. Intentional consumption of drink, food, or any injection which has nutritional value is forbidden during fasting hours. 

Laylat Al-Qadr**

This is the Night of Destiny or Night of Power. It marks the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad.

Islam

Apr. 23-May 23, 2020

Odd nights of last ten days

9th Day of Ridvan # 

Bahá'í  Apr. 29, 2020

12th Day of Ridvan 

Bahá'í  May 2, 2020

Vesak (Visakha Puja) - Buddha Day # **

Marking of the birth, enlightenment, and death (attainment of Nirvana) of Lord Buddha.

Buddhism  May 7, 2020

Ascension Day 

The fortieth day of Easter commemorating Jesus Christ's ascension into heaven.

Christian  May 21, 2020

Declaration of the Báb** 

Commemoration of May 23, 1844, when the Bab, the prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, announced he was the herald of a new messenger of God.

Bahá'í  May 22-23, 2020

Islam June 5-7, 2020

Ascension of Baha’u’lláh** 

Observance of the anniversary of the death in exile of Baha`u`llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith.

Bahá’í  May 28-29, 2020

Shavuot   

One of the three pilgrimage holidays commemorating the giving of the the Torah (5 Books of Moses).

Jewish   

May 29-30, 2020

Pentecost   

Christian observation of the day when the God the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the forms of tongues of fire and rushing wind. It is a traditional day for baptism and confirmation of new Christians.

 Christianity (RC, P, O) May 31, 2020

Eid al-Fitr  (date can vary by a day) 

Marks the end of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to God.

Islam June 5-7, 2020