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. A list of required religious observance that conflicts with final exams can be found here and on the page of faculty guidelines.

Please contact the Spiritual and Religious Life Office for more assistance or with specific questions.

Religious Calendar for 2019-2020

Many of these holy days fall on a different day each year.
*Holiday begins the evening of the first date listed and ends the evening of last date listed.

Jul. 8-9* Martyrdom of the Bab (Death of the herald of the Baha’i faith)
Aug. 1 Lughnassad, or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning of harvest)
Aug. 11 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic celebration at the end of the Hajj)
Aug. 23 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)
Sep. 2 Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu celebration of Ganesha’s birthday)
Sep. 10 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Sep. 23 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)
Sep. 29-Oct. 1* Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Sep. 29-Oct. 8 Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)
Oct. 8 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
Oct. 8-9* Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Oct. 13-20* Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 21-22* Simchat Torah (Jewish celebration of the Torah)
Oct. 27 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Oct. 28-29* Birth of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
Oct. 29-30* Birth of Baha’u’llah (Founder of Baha’i faith)
Nov. 1 All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Nov. 1 Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)
Nov. 9 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Nov. 12 Guru Nanak Jayanti (Sikh observance of founder’s birthday)
Dec. 1-24 Advent (Christian season of preparation for Christmas)
Dec. 8 Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics celebrating the immaculate conception of Mary)
Dec. 21 Yule, or Winter Solstice (Pagan observance of the winter solstice)
Dec. 22-30* Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
Dec. 25 Christmas (Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus)
Dec. 26-Jan. 1 Kwanzaa (African American cultural festival)
Jan. 6 Epiphany (Christian celebration of light when Jesus was made manifest to Gentiles)
Jan. 29 Saraswati Puja, or Vasant Panchami (Hindu springtime festival)
Feb. 2 Imbolc (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 9-10* Tu B’Shvat (Jewish celebration of trees)
Feb. 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhists mark death of Buddha’s physical body, achieving full Nirvana)
Feb. 21 Maha Shrivrati (Hindu festival honoring the god Shiva)
Feb. 25 Shrove Tuesday (Day before season of Lent begins, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday)
Feb. 26 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent, 40 days of preparation for Easter)
Feb. 29-Mar. 19* Baha’i Month of Fasting (Last month of Baha’i calendar)
Mar. 9 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 9-10* Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 19-20* Naw-Rúz (Baha’i New Year)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Apr. 5 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Apr. 8-16* Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt)
Apr. 9 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Apr. 10 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 12 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead)
Apr. 17 Holy Friday (Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 19 Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 19-May 1* Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i founder Baha’u’llah proclaimed as God’s messenger)
Apr. 20-21* Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
Apr. 24-May 23 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)
May 1 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 20 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date may vary)
May 22-23* Declaration of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
May 24 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic celebration at the end of Ramadan)
May 27-28* Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i founder’s death)
May 28-30* Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)
May 31 Pentecost (Christian celebration of Holy Spirit and birth of the church)
Jun. 20 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)