Religious Holy Days

Memorandum of Religious Holy Days (Academic Impact)

This is a list of Religious Holy Days that may impact our students, faculty, and staff during the academic year. This is NOT a complete list for every religious tradition and does not guarantee exemption from work or school obligations.

Word Document: Memo – Religious Holy Days 2023 – 2024 (for internal use only)

RSL Interfaith Center List of Religious Holy Days

Please see below for a more complete list of religious holidays by date. All multi-day holidays are listed on the day they begin with duration included.

*Dates may vary, either by region or country or depending on the lunar calendar.
**Begins at sunset


Date(s)HolidayReligious TraditionRestrictions / AccommodationsDescription
1LughnasadhPagan/ WiccanAlso known as Lammas, is a Celtic festival that marks the beginning of the harvest season and celebrates the bounty of the earth.
1-14Dormition FastChristian (Orthodox)Fast from red meat, poultry, diary products, fish, oil, and wineTwo week fast from red meat, poultry, meat products, dairy products (eggs and milk products), fish, oil, and wine in preparation for the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15th.
13-15*ObonBuddhist/ShintoIncludes sacred site visitCommemorates and honors the spirits of ancestors through family gatherings, visiting gravesites, and performing rituals and dances.
15Dormition of the TheotokosChristian (Orthodox)Celebrates the "falling asleep" (death) of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her assumption (assecension to heaven).
30Raksha BandhanHinduAnnual rite where the act of tying the rakhi, a woven bracelet, symbolizes a unique and cherished bond of unity and affection shared between two individuals.
7*Krishna JanmashtamiHinduIncludes observing a 24 hour fast, abstaining from grains, garlic, onion, meat, and liquor
The birthday of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of the God Vishnu. Commemorates the presence of divine love and bravery in human form, as Krishna reveals His true nature while imparting wisdom to Prince Arjuna.
11-18*Paryushana ParvaJainIncludes fasting, adhereing to a vegetarian diet. Although others may only do a partial fast, limiting certain foods. Jains emphasize the importance of consuming pure, Satvik (wholesome and pure) vegetarian food during this periodThe holiest period of the year for the Shvetambara sect. This sacred observance spans eight days and is marked by fasting, worship, and the reading of Lord Mahavira's life story from the Kalpasutra. The eight days end on Samvastsari, the Day of Forgiveness.
15-17**Rosh HashanahJewishWork is prohibited from sundown on the 15th until nightfall on the 17th. Includes sacred site visitJewish New Year and the beginning of the High Holy Days.
19*Ganesh ChaturthiHinduCelebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, characterized by vibrant processions, the installation of Ganesha idols, devotional rituals, and the immersion of the idols in water at the end of the festivities.
21-29MabonPagan/ WiccanCelebrates the autumn equinox, the midpoint of the harvest cycle, highlighting the celebration of balance and harmony.
24-25**Yom KippurJewishWork is prohibited. Fasting from both food and drink begins at sundown on the 24th and lasts until nightfall on the 25thHoliest day in Judaism. Otherwise known as the Day of Atonement, characterized by fasting, prayer, and repentance, offering individuals a time for introspection, seeking forgiveness, and reconciliation.
26-27Mawlid al-NabiIslamCommemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
29 - Oct. 6**SukkotJewishWork is prohibitted the first two daysKnown as the Feast of Tabernacles, during which people build and dwell in temporary shelters called sukkahs to commemorate the Israelites' journey in the wilderness.
6-8**Shemini AtzeretJewishWork is prohibitedConcludes Sukkot and marks the start of winter.
8**Simchat TorahJewishWork is prohibitedCelebrates the end of the Torah reading cycle and beginning of the new cycle.
15-23NavratriHinduFasting is observed, known as vrat or upvaas, for all nine days or certain selected days. The most common practice is to abstain from consuming meat, eggs, alcohol, onion, garlic, and certain grains and lentils. Instead, devotees typically focus on consuming satvik (pure) vegetarian foodNine-day festival worshipping the Goddess Ma Durga through prayer, fasting, music, and dance.
16*Birth of the BábBahá’íCelebrates the birth of the Báb, a founder of the Bahá’í faith.
24DussehraHinduFestival that commemorates the triumph of good over evil, symbolized by the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana.
27*Birth of Bahá’u’lláhBahá’íCelebrates the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, a founder of the Bahá’í faith.
31SamhainPagan/ WiccanIncludes sacred site visitFestival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Celebrating beginnings, endings, and the dead
31Reformation DayChristian (Protestant)Celebrates the beginning of the reformation initiated by Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517.
1All Saints’ DayChristianHoliday honoring the saints.
2All Souls' DayChristianHoliday praying for the souls of the dead.
4Buddha's DescentBuddhistOtherwise known as Lhabab Duchen, commemorates the return of Gautama Buddha from the heavenly realm of Tavatimsa after delivering a sermon to his mother, Queen Mahamaya, following his enlightenment.
12DiwaliHindu, Jain, SikhIncludes sacred site visitFestival of Lights, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.
15Shichi-go-sanShintoIncludes sacred site visitCelebrates the growth and well-being of children through shrine visits and prayers for their health and prosperity.
23NiinamesaiShintoHarvest festival that involves the offering of newly harvested rice to the deities, expressing gratitude for the year's bounty and praying for a successful harvest in the coming year.
25-26**Day of the CovenantBahá’íCommemorates the covenant established by Bahá'u'lláh and honors 'Abdu'l-Bahá's role as His appointed successor.
3First Sunday of AdventChristianFirst of four Sundays leading up to Christmas. It is a time of waiting and anticipation for the birth of Jesus.
7-15**HanukkahJewishCelebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt
8Feast of the Immaculate ConceptionChristian (Catholic)Celebrates the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
8Bodhi DayBuddhistIncludes sacred site visitCommemorates the day Siddhartha Gautama (the historical Buddha) attained enlightenment.
21YulePagan/ WiccanCelebrates the winter solstice and the return of longer days, symbolizing hope, renewal, and the cycle of life.
23Joseph Smith's BirthdayLDS (Mormon)Celebrates the birth of LDS founder Joseph Smith.
25ChristmasChristianCelebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
26Zarathosht DisoZoroastrianCommemorates the death of the prophet Zarathustra.


Date(s)HolidayReligious TraditionRestrictions / AccomodationsDescription
1OshogatsuShintoIncludes sacred site visitCelebration of the New Year. Involves temple visits, prayers for blessings and prosperity, making ceremonial offerings, and participating in traditional rituals to welcome the arrival of the new year.
6EpiphanyChristianAlso known as Three Kings Day, celebrates, in the Western Church, the visit of Magi and, in the Eastern Church, the baptism of Jesus.
7Orthodox ChristmasChristian (Orthodox)Celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ for Orthodox Christians.
15Makara SankranthiHinduMarks the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn, signifying the arrival of longer days, new beginnings, and expressing gratitude for the harvest season.
17Birth of Guru Gobind SinghSikhBirthday of the tenth and final Guru.
24-25**Tu B’shevatJewishAlso known as the Jewish New Year for Trees. Celebrates the ecological and agricultural significance of trees, promoting environmental awareness and the importance of caring for the natural world.
1ImbolcPagan/ WiccanMarks the onset of spring, symbolizing purification, renewal, and the awakening of nature.
6-7**Lailat al MirajIslamCommemorates the miraculous night journey of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ascension to the heavens, marked by prayers, reflection, and recitation of the Qur'an.
14Vasant PanchamiHinduMarks the arrival of spring and honors the goddess Saraswati, symbolizing knowledge, learning, and the arts.
14Ash WednesdayChristianFasting practices vary across denominations. On Ash Wednesday practitioners tend to abstain from meat (as well as on Fridays leading up to Easter). Fasts throughout Lent can also vary person to person. Lent ends at Easter.Marks the beginning of Lent, an observance that spans approximately 40 days, characterized by fasting, prayer, and repentance, serving as a period of spiritual preparation and reflection leading up to Easter.
15Parinirvana Day (Buddha's Passing)BuddhistCommemorates the final passing away (parinirvana) of the Buddha, signifying his ultimate liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
24Sangha DayBuddhistHonors and expresses gratitude to the monastic community (Sangha) for their contributions to the propagation of the Dharma and the spiritual guidance they provide to followers.
26-29*Ayyám-i-HáBahá’íA period of charity characterized by acts of service, generosity, and expressions of love and unity among family and community members.
1-19*Nineteen Day FastBahá’íFasting from food and water from sunrise to sunsetA period of spiritual preparation and renewal. It is a time for introspection, self-discipline, and prayer, fostering a closer connection with God and promoting spiritual growth.
8*Maha ShivaratriHinduFasting occurs from the morning of the 8th to the morning of the 9th. Fasting can either include both food and water or be a partial fast with practioners opting to consume only milk and fruits. Includes sacred site visitFestival honoring Lord Shiva, known as the destroyer and transformer, associated with spiritual asceticism, meditation, and the cosmic dance of creation and destruction.
10- April 9th**RamadanIslamAbstinence from food, liquids, and other fasting invalidators from dawn to sunsetCommemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad and focuses on self-discipline and God-consciousness.
19-20**OstaraPagan/WiccanCelebrated during the vernal equinox, symbolizing the rebirth of nature and the arrival of spring.
20*NowruzBahá’í, ZoroastrianCelebrates the New Year and the arrival of spring.
23-24**PurimJewishCommemorates the story of Esther.
24Memorial of Jesus’ DeathJehovah's WitnessesCommemorates the death of Jesus Christ.
24Palm SundayChristianFasting for lent is ongoingCommemorates Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem the week prior to the crucifixion.
24-25**HoliHinduIncludes sacred site visitSpring festival, also known as the Festival of Colors.
28Maundy ThursdayChristianFasting for lent is ongoingCommemorates the Last Supper, the final meal before Jesus' crucifixion. Includes the tradition of foot washing.
29Good FridayChristianIncludes sacred site visitCommemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
31EasterChristianIncludes sacred site visitCelebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
9-10**Eid al-FitrIslamCelebrates the end of Ramadan.
11-17**Six-day Fast of ShawwaalIslamAbstinence from food, liquids, and other fasting invalidators from dawn to sunsetAdditional time of fasting following Ramadan.
13VaisakhiSikhMarks the Sikh New Year and the founding of the Khalsa, a religious community of Sikhs established by Guru Gobind Singh.
20 - May 2**RidvánBahá’íCelebrates the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation of God.
21Mahavir JayantiJainBoth partial (only vegetarian) and complete (abstaining from food and water) fasting are common practices. Various forms of austerity such as limiting activities and minimizing worldly indulgence are practiced. Includes sacred site visitCelebrates the birth of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara.
22-30**Pesach (Passover)JewishChametz prohibition, referring to any food product that is made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt and has come into contact with water and leavened (risen). Includes sacred site visitCommemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
24Hanuman JayantiHinduIncludes sacred site visitCelebrates the birth of Lord Hanuman, a revered deity known for his loyalty, devotion, and strength.
1BeltanePagan/WiccanIncludes sacred site visitMarks the beginning of the warmer months and fertility in nature.
5Pascha (Orthodox Easter)Christian (Orthodox)Fasting Thursday evening after supper until Saturday night from meat, eggs, cheese, fish with backbone, olive oil, and alcohol, eating no full meals but only collations (small meals for health) until after the final Resurrection Liturgy (late Saturday)Celebrates the ressurection of Jesus Christ.
5-6Yom Ha’shoahJewishPractitioners may opt out of festive or celebratory activitiesObservance dedicated to remembering and honoring the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
9Ascension DayChristianCommemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
15Buddha’s BirthdayBuddhistCommemorates the birth of the Buddha.
19PentecostChristianCelebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. Commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the birth of the Christian Church.
22-23Declaration of the BábBahá’íCommemorates the momentous day in 1844 when the Báb announced His divine mission as a forerunner to Bahá'u'lláh and the herald of a new spiritual age.
25-26**Lag B’OmerJewishHonors the life and teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.
27-28Ascension of Bahá’u’lláhBahá’íCommemorates the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.
11-13**ShavuotJewishCustomary that only dairy-based foods are consumedCommemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
16**Eid al-AdhaIslamAdditional early morning prayer includedAlso known as the Festival of Sacrifice. Commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to Allah.
9Martyrdom of the BábBahá’íCommemorates the execution of the Báb who was martyred in 1850.
16-17**AshuraIslamShia: Fast from dawn to sunset on the 17th. May opt out of festive or celebratory activities. Sunni: Fast from dawn to sunset on the 17th, with an option to fast the 16th and 18th.Shia: A significant day of mourning and remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala. Sunni: Commemorating the Prophet Musa.