Major Holy Days

 Major Holy Days 2017-2018

The days listed below are the ones most likely to affect the academic calendar.

NOTE: * Begins at sundown the day before this date and ends at sundown on this date.


8/18  Paryushana Parva. Jain. Eight-day Festival of Forgiveness and Self-Discipline.

9/2* Eid Al-Adha. Muslim. The Festival of Sacrifice remembers Abraham’s devotion in offering his son as a sacrifice. Work is prohibited.

9/21-29 Navartri. Hindu. Symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

9/21-22* Rosh Hashanah. Jewish. Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. Work is prohibited.

9/30* Yom Kippur. Jewish. The Day of Atonement. Most solemn Jewish holy day. Adults fast from food and drink. Work is prohibited.

10/1* Ashura. Muslim. For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala.

10/5-11* Sukkot. Jewish. The Feast of the Tabernacles, where meals are consumed in a temporary outdoor structure. Harvest Festival. Work is prohibited on the first two days.

10/12* Shemini Atzeret. Jewish. Marks the end of Sukkot. Work is prohibited.

10/13* Simchat Torah. Jewish. Celebrates and marks both the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. Work is prohibited.

10/19 Diwali. Hindu, Jain, Sikh. Festival of Lights.

10/31 Samhain. Wiccan/Pagan. Festival of Darkness honoring the dead.

11/1 All Saint’s Day. Christian. Honors all the saints known and unknown.

12/8 Bodhi Day. Buddhist. Celebration of Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.

12/13-20* Hanukkah. Jewish. Festival of Lights. Marks the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.

12/25 Christmas. Christian. Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

1/7 Christmas. Orthodox Christian. Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ.

2/14 Ash Wednesday. Christian. The beginning of Lent, a 40-day period preceding Easter.

3/1* Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the story of Esther.

3/2 – 3/20* Nineteen Day Fast. Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’ís between the ages of 15 and 70 fast without food or drink from sunrise to sunset.

3/2 Holi. Hindu. Festival of colors and Spring.

3/21 Nowruz (New Year). Zoroastrian and Bahá’í Faith.

3/25 Palm/Passion Sunday. Christian. Celebration of joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.

3/29 Holy Thursday. Christian. Commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus with Disciples.

3/30 Good/Holy Friday. Christian. Commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

3/31 – 4/7* Pesach (Passover). Jewish. Festival of liberation of Israelites from Slavery in Egypt. Work is prohibited on the first and last two days.

4/1 Easter. Christian. Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

4/8 Pascha. Orthodox Christian. Celebration of Resurrection of Jesus.

4/13* Lailat al Miraj. Muslim. Commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven.

4/14 Vaisakhi. Sikh. Marks the formation of the Khalsa (religious community of Sikhs) by Guru Gobind Singh.

4/21 - 5/2* Ridvan. Bahá’í Faith. Commemoration of the 12 days when its Founder, Baha’u’llah, declared his mission.

5/1* Beltane. Wiccan/Pagan. Festival of Light honoring Life and Fertility.

5/16-6/14* Ramadan. Muslim. Holy month of fasting.

5/20 Pentecost. Christian. Feast day Commemorating Descent of Holy Spirit on Apostles.

5/20-21* Shavuot. Jewish. Festival commemorating giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai.

5/22 Buddha’s Birthday. Buddhist.

For a complete listing of religious holy days, please check out our Multifaith Calendar.


For instructions on how to subscribe to our Religious Holidays Calendar, click here.