Religious Holy Days

Accommodating Religious Observance

As a non-sectarian institution, Allegheny College affirms the variety of religious faiths represented within our community and supports individuals’ personal practice and expression of religion. We urge flexibility and consideration of religious practice in both curricular and co-curricular planning.

In addition to the chronological list below, we offer guidelines for faculty and academic departments, for programming offices, and for athletics to assist in honoring the religions represented within our community. Please contact the Spiritual and Religious Life Office for more assistance or with specific questions.

Religious Calendar for 2015-2016

Jewish holidays begin at sundown of the first day listed.

May 4-5Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)

Jun. 18-Jul. 17 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting; most Muslims will continue daily activity, but please note suggested accommodations.)
 Jun. 21 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)
 Jul. 9 Martyrdom of the Bab (Death of the herald of the Baha’i faith)
 Jul. 9 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date varies based on different legal opinions)
 Jul. 17-19 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic three-day celebration at the end of Ramadan)
 Aug. 1 Lughnassad, or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning of harvest)
 Sep. 4 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)
 Sep. 13-15 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
 Sep. 22 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)
 Sep. 22-23 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Sep. 23-25 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the hajj)
Sep. 27-Oct. 4 Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 13-22 Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)
Oct. 20 Birth of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
Oct. 22 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
Oct. 23 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Nov. 1 All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Nov. 1 Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)
Nov. 11 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Nov. 12 Birth of Baha’u’llah (Founder of Baha’i faith)
Nov. 29 Advent begins (Christian season of preparation for Christmas)
Dec. 6-14 Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
Dec. 8 Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Dec. 21 Yule, or Winter Solstice (Pagan observance of the winter solstice)
Dec. 23 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)
Dec. 25 Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)
Jan. 24-25 Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day)
Feb. 2 Imbolc, or St. Brighid’s Day (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 10 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Mar. 20 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Mar. 21 Naw-Rúz (Baha’i Month of Fasting ends)
Mar. 23 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 23-24 Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 24 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Mar. 25 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Mar. 27 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
Note: Eastern Orthodox Easter falls on May 1
Apr. 21-May 2 Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i commemoration of Baha’u’llah’s proclamation)
Apr. 22-23 First two days of Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt begins)
May 1 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 15 Pentecost (Christians recognize descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples)
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i’s founder’s death)