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 2018-2019

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. 21 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic three-day celebration at the end of the Hajj)
Sep. 3 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating birth of Krishna)
Sep. 9-11 Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Sep. 18-19 Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Sep. 20 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Sep. 22 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving for fruits of the earth)
Sep. 23-29 Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 10-19 Navaratri (Hindu festival honoring the goddess Durga)
Oct. 19 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
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. 7 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Nov. 20 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Dec. 2 Advent Begins (Christian season of preparation for Christmas)
Dec. 2-10 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. 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. 20-21 Tu B’Shvat (Jewish celebration of trees)
Feb. 2 Imbolc (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 10 Saraswati Puja, or Vasant Panchami (Hindu springtime festival)
Feb. 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhists mark death of Buddha’s physical body, achieving full Nirvana)
Mar. 2-20 Baha’i Month of Fasting
Mar. 4 Maha Shrivrati (Hindu festival honoring the god Shiva)
Mar. 5 Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, Fat Tues. – day before Christian season of Lent begins)
Mar. 6 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the vernal equinox)
Mar. 20-21 Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 20-21 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 21 Naw-Rúz (First day of the Baha’i calendar)
Apr. 14 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Apr. 18 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Apr. 19 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 19-27 Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt begins)
Apr. 21 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection)
Apr. 21-May 2 Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i commemoration of Baha’u’llah’s proclamation)
Apr. 26 Holy Friday (Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 28 Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
May 1 Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
May 2 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 6-Jun. 4 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Anniversary of Baha’i’s founder’s death)
Jun. 1 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date may vary)
Jun. 4-5 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic celebration at the end of Ramadan)
Jun. 8-10 Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)
Jun. 9 Pentecost (Christian celebration of Holy Spirit and birth of the church)
Jun. 21 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice, the longest day)