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 and for programming offices 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 2013-2014

Jewish holidays begin on sundown of the first day listed.

Jul. 9-Aug. 8 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)
Jul. 30-31 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan)
Aug 1 Lughnassad or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning
of harvest)
Aug. 8-9 ‘Id al-Fitr (Islamic three-day celebration at the end
of Ramadan)
Sep. 4-6 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Sep. 13-14 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Sep. 18    Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Sep. 22 Harvest or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits
of the earth)
Oct. 15-17 ‘Id al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the hajj)
Nov. 1 All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Nov. 1 Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)
Nov. 3 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Nov. 14 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom
of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Nov. 27 Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
Dec 1 Advent (Christian season of preparation for the birth of Jesus; four Sundays  prior to Christmas)
Dec. 8 Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Dec. 21 Yule or Winter Solstice (Pagan observance of the winter solstice)
Dec. 25 Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)
Dec. 26 – Jan 1 Kwanzaa (African American celebration of family, community, and culture)
Jan. 13:  Mawlid al-Nabi (Observance of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)
Jan. 15: Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day)
Feb. 2: Imbolc or St. Brighid’s Day (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Mar. 4: Shrove Tuesday (Day before season of Lent begins, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday)
Mar. 5: Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Mar. 5-Apr. 19: Lent (Christian season of preparation before Easter)
Mar. 15: Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 20: Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Apr. 13:  Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry
into Jerusalem)
Apr. 14-20: Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt; rituals on first two days)
Apr. 17:  Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ Passover meal with disciples)
Apr. 18: Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 20: Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
Note: Eastern Orthodox Easter falls on April 20 also.
Apr. 26: Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance).
May 1:  Beltrane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
June 21: Midsummer or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day.