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 on the page of faculty guidelines.

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

Religious Calendar for 2020-2021

*Holiday begins the evening of the first date listed and ends the evening of the last date listed.

Jul. 8-9* Martyrdom of the Bab (Death of the herald of the Baha’i faith)
Jul. 31 Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Islamic celebration at the end of the Hajj)
Aug. 1 Lughnassad, or Lammas (Pagan celebration of the beginning of harvest)
Aug. 11 Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna)
Aug. 21 Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu celebration of Ganesha’s birthday)
Aug. 27 Ashura (Shi‘ite holy day commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn b. ‘Ali)
Sep. 18-20* Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)
Sep. 22 Harvest, or Mabon (Pagan ritual of thanksgiving)
Sep. 27-28* Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)
Oct. 2-9* Sukkot (Jewish week-long Festival of Booths)
Oct. 10-11* Simchat Torah (Jewish celebration of the Torah)
Oct. 17-26 Navaratri (Hindu nine-day autumn festival)
Oct. 17-18* Birth of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
Oct. 18-19* Birth of Baha’u’llah (Founder of Baha’i faith)
Oct. 25 Dussehra, or Dasara (Hindu celebration of victories by several gods and goddesses)
Oct. 29 Mawlid al-Nabi (Islamic observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Nov. 1 All Saints Day (Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics)
Nov. 1 Samhain (Pagan festival honoring those who have died)
Nov. 14 Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Nov. 29 Guru Nanak Jayanti (Sikh observance of founder’s birthday)
Nov. 29-Dec. 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. 10-18* 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 Jesus’ manifestation to Gentiles)
Jan. 27-28* Tu B’Shvat (Jewish celebration of trees)
Feb. 2 Imbolc (Pagan celebration of the beginning of spring)
Feb. 15 Nirvana Day (Buddhists mark Buddha’s full achievement of Nirvana)
Feb. 16 Saraswati Puja, or Vasant Panchami (Hindu springtime festival)
Feb. 16 Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, celebration prior to Christian season of Lent)
Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday (Christian first day of Lent)
Feb. 17-Apr. 2 Lent (Christian 40-day season of preparation for Easter)
Feb. 25-26* Purim (Jewish Feast of Lots)
Mar. 1-19* Baha’i Month of Fasting (Last month of Baha’i calendar)
Mar. 11 Maha Shrivrati (Hindu festival honoring the god Shiva)
Mar. 19-20* Naw-Rúz (Baha’i New Year)
Mar. 20 Ostara (Pagan festival at the spring equinox)
Mar. 27-Apr. 4* Passover (Jewish week-long observance of the Exodus from Egypt)
Mar. 28 Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors)
Mar. 28 Palm Sunday (Christian observance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)
Apr. 1 Maundy Thursday (Christian observance of Jesus’ last supper)
Apr. 2 Good Friday (Christian observance of Jesus’ death and burial)
Apr. 4 Easter (Christian celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead)
Apr. 7-8* Yom Hashoah (Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance)
Apr. 13-May 13 Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)
Apr. 19-May 1* Festival of Ridvan (Baha’i founder Baha’u’llah proclaimed as God’s messenger)
Apr. 30 Holy Friday (Eastern Orthodox)
May 1 Beltane (Pagan celebration related to May Day, fertility)
May 2 Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
May 9 Laylat al-Qadr (Islamic night of prayer during Ramadan; date may vary)
May 13 Eid al-Fitr (Islamic celebration at the end of Ramadan)
May 16-18* Shavuot (Jewish commemoration of God’s gift of Torah at Sinai)
May 22-23* Declaration of the Bab (Herald of Baha’i faith)
May 23 Pentecost (Christian celebration of Holy Spirit and birth of the church)
May 27-28* Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Marks Baha’i founder’s death)
Jun. 21 Midsummer, or Litha (Pagan holiday around the summer solstice)