Major Holy Days 2016-2017


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.


8/28 Paryushana Parva. Jain. Eight-day Festival of Forgiveness and Self-Discipline.

9/12* Eid Al-Adha. Muslim. The Festival of Sacrifice remembers Abraham’s devotion in offering his son as a sacrifice. Work is prohibited.

10/1 – 10/10 Navartri. Hindu. Symbolizes the triumph of good over evil.

10/3-4* Rosh Hashanah. Jewish. Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. Work is prohibited.

10/11* Ashura. Muslim. For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala.

10/12* Yom Kippur. Jewish. The Day of Atonement. Most solemn Jewish holy day. Adults fast from food and drink. Work is prohibited.

10/17-23* 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.

10/24* Shemini Atzeret. Jewish. Marks the end of Sukkot. Work is prohibited.

10/25* 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.

10/30 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.

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

12/25 – 1/1* Hanukkah. Jewish. Festival of Lights. Marks the victory of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.

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

3/1 Ash Wednesday. Christian. The beginning of Lent, a 40-day period preceding Easter.

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.

3/12 Holi. Hindu. Festival of colors and Spring.

3/12* Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the story of Esther.

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

4/9 Palm/Passion Sunday. Christian. Celebration of joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.

4/11 – 4/18* Pesach (Passover). Jewish. Festival of liberation of Israelites from Slavery in Egypt. Work is prohibited on the first and last two days.

4/13 Holy Thursday. Christian. Commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus with Disciples.

4/14 Good/Holy Friday. Christian. Commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

4/16 Easter. Christian. Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

4/16 Pascha. Orthodox Christian. Celebration of Resurrection of Jesus.

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

4/17 Buddha’s Birthday. Buddhist.

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

4/24* Lailat al Miraj. Muslim. Commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven.

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

5/15 Pentecost. Christian. Feast day Commemorating Descent of Holy Spirit on Apostles.

5/27-6/25* Ramadan. Muslim. Holy month of fasting.

5/30-6/1* Shavuot. Jewish. Festival commemorating giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai.