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 2016-2017

Many of these holy days fall on a different day each year.
Jewish holidays begin on sundown of the first day listed.
Islamic holy days may vary a day or two and will be determined shortly beforehand.

Jun. 6-Jul. 7 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting; most Muslims will continue daily activity, but suggested accommodations based on dietary restrictions are on the reverse)
Jun. 11-13 Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)
Jun. 20 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)
Jul. 1 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date varies based on different legal opinions)
Jul. 7-9 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic three-day celebration at the end of Ramadan)
Jul. 9 Martyrdom of the Bab (Death of the herald of the Baha’i faith)
Aug. 2 Lughnassad, or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning of harvest)
Aug. 25 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)
Sep. 11-14 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the hajj)
Sep. 22 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)
Oct. 1-10 Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)
Oct. 2-4 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Oct. 8 Saraswati Puja (Hindu celebration of goddess of learning, arts and crafts)
Oct. 11 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
Oct. 11-12 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Oct. 12 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Oct. 16-23 Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 20 Birth of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
Oct. 30 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Nov. 1 All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Nov. 1 Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)
Nov. 27 Advent Begins (Christian season of preparation for Christmas)
Dec. 8 Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Dec. 14 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Dec. 21 Yule, or Winter Solstice (Pagan observance of the winter solstice)
Dec. 24-Jan 1 Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
Dec. 25 Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)
Feb. 2 Imbolc, or St. Brighid’s Day (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 10-11 Tu B’Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day)
Feb. 25 Maha Shivratri (Hindu festival of the god Shiva)
Feb. 28 Shrove Tuesday (Day before Christian season of Lent begins, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday)
Mar. 1 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Mar. 2-20 Naw-Rúz (Baha’i Month of Fasting)*
Mar. 11-12 Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 13 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Apr. 9 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Apr. 10-17 Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt begins)
Apr. 13 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Apr. 14 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 16 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
Apr. 21-May 2 Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i commemoration of Baha’u’llah’s proclamation)
Apr. 23-24 Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
May 1 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i’s founder’s death)
May 30-Jun. 1 Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)