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 2017-2018

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.

Jul. 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. 15 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)
Sep. 1-4 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the Hajj)
Sep 20-22 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Sep. 21-29 Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)
Sep. 22 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)
Sep. 29-30 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Sep. 30 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
Sep. 30 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Oct. 4-11 Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 19 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Oct. 20 Birth of the Bab (Herald 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. 30 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Dec. 3 Advent Begins (Christian season of preparation for Christmas)
Dec. 8 Immaculate Conception (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Dec. 12-20 Hanukkah (Jewish eight-day Festival of Lights)
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 cultural festival)
Jan. 6 Epiphany (Christian celebration of light when Jesus was made manifest to Gentiles)
Jan. 22 Saraswati Puja, or Vasant Panchami (Hindu springtime festival)
Jan. 30-31 Tu B’Shvat (Jewish celebration of trees)
Feb. 2 Imbolc (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 13 Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Fat Tues. – day before Christian season of Lent begins)
Feb. 14 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Feb. 14 Maha Shrivrati (Hindu festival honoring the god Shiva)
Feb. 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhists mark death of Buddha’s physical body, achieving full Nirvana)
Feb. 28-Mar. 1 Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 2-20 Baha’i Month of Fasting
Mar. 21 Naw-Rúz (First day of the Baha’i calendar)
Mar. 3 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Mar. 25 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Mar. 29 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Mar. 30-Apr. 6 Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt begins)
Mar. 30 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 1 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
Apr. 6 Holy Friday (Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 8 Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 11-12 Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
Apr. 21-May 2 Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i commemoration of Baha’u’llah’s proclamation)
May 2 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 16-Jun. 14 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)
May 19-20 Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)
May 20 Pentecost (Christian celebration of Holy Spirit and birth of the church)
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i’s founder’s death)
Jun. 7 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date may vary)
Jun. 14-15 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic celebration at the end of Ramadan)
Jun. 21 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)