Religious Holidays: 2020-2021 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


  • #  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.




Eid al-Adha  **

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


July 30-Aug 3, 2020

Krishna Janmashtami 

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


Aug. 11, 2020

10th of Muharram**

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


Aug. 20, 2020

Rosh Hashanah #

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


Sept. 18-20, 2020

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. 


Sept. 21, 2020

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

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


Sept. 28, 2020


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.


Oct. 2-9, 2020

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.


Oct. 20, 2020

Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah

Completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.


Oct. 9-11, 2020


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


Nov. 12-16, 2020

Bandi Chhor Diwas 

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


Nov. 14, 2020

Birth of the Prophet Muhammad** 

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


Oct. 29, 2020

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.


Oct. 19, 2020

Birth of Guru Nanak 

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


Nov. 30, 2020

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´


Nov. 27, 2019


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


Dec. 25, 2020


Weeklong celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture.


Dec. 26, 2020 –Jan. 1, 2021

Feast of the Epiphany 

Celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.


Jan. 6, 2021

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, 2021

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.


Feb. 12, 2021

Ash Wednesday 

Lent begins in Western Christianity.


Feb. 17, 2021 

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. 15, 2021

Fast of Esther (Purim)

Commemorates the three-day fast in the story of Purim.


Feb. 25-26, 2021


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, 2021

Fast of Bechorot 

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


Apr. 8, 2021

Passover (Pesach)

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


Mar. 27-Apr. 3, 2021

Good Friday 

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


Apr. 2, 2021


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


Apr. 4, 2021

Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) 

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


Apr. 14, 2021

Eastern Orthodox Good Friday 

Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus and related events.

Orthodox Christian 

Apr. 2, 2021

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. 4, 2021


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 (4/20), ninth (4/28), and twelfth (5/1) days are celebrated as holy days when Baha’i I’s suspend work.


Apr. 20, 2021


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.


Apr. 12-May 11, 2021

Odd nights of last ten days

9th Day of Ridvan


Apr. 28, 2021

12th Day of Ridvan 


May 1, 2021

Vesak (Visakha Puja) - Buddha Day # **

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


May 26, 2021

Ascension Day 

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


May 13, 2021

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.


May 22-23, 2021

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.


May 28, 2021


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


May 16-18, 2021


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 23, 2021

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

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


July 19-20, 2021