Major Holy Days

 Major Holy Days 2019-2020

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.

8/11* Eid Al-Adha. Muslim. The Festival of Sacrifice remembers Abraham’s devotion in offering his son as a sacrifice. Work is prohibited.

8/23 Krishna Janmashtami. The birthday of Sri Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who helped restore the balance of good over evil.

8/27 Paryushana Parva. Jain. Eight-day Festival of Forgiveness and Self-Discipline.

9/2 Ganesh Chaturti. Birthday of Sri Ganesha, revered as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and the remover of obstacles.

9/10* Ashura. Muslim. For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala.

9/29-10/7 Navratri; 10/8 Vijayadashimi/Dusshera Hindu. Festival of 9 nights celebrating the Goddess in her various forms, most typically as Durga: The 10th day is a festival celebrating the Goddess’ triumph over evil.

9/30-10/1* Rosh Hashanah. Jewish. Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. Work is prohibited.

10/9* Yom Kippur. Jewish. The Day of Atonement. Most solemn Jewish holy day. Adults fast from food and drink. Work is prohibited.

10/14-20* 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.

10/21* Shemini Atzeret. Jewish. Marks the end of Sukkot. Work is prohibited.

10/22* 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.

10/24-27 Diwali. Hindu, Jain, Sikh. Festival of Lights. Light symbolizes a force against darkness, ignorance, evil. Diwali is celebrated over a period of 5 days.

11/1* Samhain. Wiccan/Pagan. Festival of Darkness honoring the dead.

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

12/7 Srimad Bhagavad Gita Jayanti. Gita Jayanti is the date that Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu sacred text, to Prince Arjuna.

12/18 Bodhi Day. Buddhist. Celebration of Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment.

12/23-30* 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.

1/14 Makara Sankranti. A celebration marking the advent of the Sun’s northerly migration and forthcoming Spring.

2/21 Maha Shivaratri.  An evening celebration of the wedding of Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati

2/26 Ash Wednesday. Christian. The beginning of Lent, a 40-day period preceding Easter.

3/2 – 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.

3/8-9 Holi. Hindu. Festival of colors. A two-day festival, Holi celebrates the advent of spring and the enduring message that good will always be victorious over evil.

3/10* Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the story of Esther.

3/20 Nowruz (New Year). Zoroastrian and Bahá’í Faith.

3/22* Lailat al Miraj. Muslim. Commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to Heaven.

4/2 Rama Navami. Celebration of the birth of Sri Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who helped restore the balance of good over evil.

4/5 Palm/Passion Sunday. Christian. Celebration of joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.

4/7 Hanuman Jayanti. Celebrates the birthday of Hanuman, foremost devotee of Sri Rama and Sita.

4/9-16* Pesach (Passover). Jewish. Festival of liberation of Israelites from Slavery in Egypt. Work is prohibited on the first and last two days.

4/9 Holy Thursday. Christian. Commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus with Disciples.

4/10 Good/Holy Friday. Christian. Commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus.

4/12 Easter. Christian. Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.

4/13 Vaisakhi. Sikh. Marks the formation of the Khalsa (religious community of Sikhs) by Guru Gobind Singh.

4/19 Pascha. Orthodox Christian. Celebration of Resurrection of Jesus.

4/20 - 5/1* 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.

4/24-5/23* Ramadan. Muslim. Holy month of fasting.

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.