Mizzou Communities Resource Guides

GUIDE TO RELIGIONS

Major Holidays and Suggested Accommodations

The holidays and accommodations section of this guide is provided to faculty, staff, and student leaders as an educational resource for the myriad of religious holy days celebrated at Mizzou. Not only does this section offer crucial information about dates and practices, we also hope that the information about recommended academic and food accommodations will be valuable to those planning classroom activities and other academic and co-curricular events. Questions about reasonable accommodations for religious holy days may be sent to the director of MU Equity at equity@missouri.edu.

Points to Remember

  • Dates are assembled from several calendars and begin with the academic year (August through July). Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice.
  • Kosher restrictions apply: refers to the dietary guidelines of Jewish law which apply daily throughout the year. Restrictions include: pork, shellfish (fish is allowed) and mixing meat with dairy.
  • Halal dietary restrictions apply: refers to the foods prohibited according to Islamic dietary law throughout the year. Restrictions include alcohol and pork.
  • Halal dietary restrictions apply:
Holiday and Recommended Accommodations Date(s) Observed
AUGUST

Lammas / Lughnasadh (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

A celebration of the beginning of the harvest. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Making and consuming dishes with the first fruits of the harvest.

  • Aug. 1, 2015
  • Aug. 1, 2016
  • Aug. 1, 2017
  • Aug. 1, 2018

Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)

The Rakhi festivity falls in the holy month of Shravan; The origin and history of Rakhi can be dated back to the mythological Pouranik times.

General Practices: A day to acknowledge siblings and their relationships.

  • Aug. 29, 2015
  • Aug. 17, 2016
  • Aug. 7, 2017
  • Aug. 25, 2018
SEPTEMBER

Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)

This two-day festival celebrates the birth of Krishna, a widely-worshiped Hindu god. Krishna is considered to be a warrior, hero, teacher, and philosopher.

General Practices: During this festival, Hindus are likely to forgo sleep in order to sing bhajans, traditional Hindu songs. Many Hindus also fast during the first day of the festival. Dances, songs, and plays depicting the life of Krishna are common.

Date Details: The first day is called Krishan ashtami or Gokul ashtami. The second day is known as Kaal ashtami or more popularly Janam ashtami.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines on this day, since it is likely that students will be operating on very little sleep.

  • Sept. 5, 2015
  • Aug. 25, 2016
  • Sept. 15, 2017
  • Sept. 3, 2018

Rosh Hashanah - * begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Start of the Jewish New Year, day of judgment and remembrance; the Jewish calendar celebrates the New Year in the seventh month (Tishrei) as a day of rest and celebration ten days before Yom Kippur

General Practices: Prayer in synagogue and festive meals

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).

  • *Sept. 13-14, 2015
  • *Oct. 4-3, 2016
  • *Sept. 20-21, 2017
  • *Sept. 9-10, 2018

Mabon / Alban Elfed / Autumnal Equinox (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

Also referred to as Harvest Home, the Feast of the Ingathering, and Meán Fómhair. Mabon is the second celebration of the harvest, a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth, and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and the God during the coming winter months. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: At Mabon, day and night are in equal balance. It is a time to offer gratitude for the blessings of the harvest and also to begin to prepare for turning inward. Making dishes with apples, squash and pumpkins as part of ritual celebration is customary.

  • Sept. 23, 2015
  • Sept. 22, 2016
  • Sept. 22, 2017
  • Sept. 23, 2018

Yom Kippur - *begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Yom Kippur is often considered the holiest day of the year for Jews, and the day is dedicated to atonement and abstinence.

General Practices: During Yom Kippur, Jews fast from before sundown until after sunset, and light a Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the night of Yom Kippur.

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date and after a day of fasting.

  • *Sept. 22-23, 2015
  • *Oct. 11-12, 2016
  • *Sept. 29-30, 2017
  • *Sept. 18-19, 2018

Eid al-Adha - *begins at sundown (Islamic)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Eid al-Adha is a major festival that celebrates the willingness to make sacrifices in the name of one’s faith. According to legend, the prophet Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice his son in God’s name. When Ibrahim was prepared to kill his son, God stepped in and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead. This holiday celebrates Ibrahim’s total faith in God, and Muslims view this holiday as an important annual reminder.

General Practices: Prayers, gift giving, prayers, and sometimes slaughtering of sheep, with a portion of the meat gifted to the poor.

Date details: Lunar calendars can vay based on region and practice. Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on the first day. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

  • *Sept. 23-24, 2015
  • *Sept. 11-12, 2016
  • *Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2017
  • *Aug. 21-22, 2018

Sukkot - *begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


A week-long celebration which begins with the building of Sukkah for sleep and meals; Sukkot is named for the huts Moses and the Israelites lived in as they wandered the desert before reaching the promised land.

General Practices: Families in the United States commonly decorate the sukkah with produce and artwork.

Date details: Begins at sundown. Work holiday varies by denomination.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on the first two days. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).

  • *Sept. 27-28, 2015
  • *Oct. 16-17, 2016
  • *Oct. 4-5, 2017
  • *Sept. 23-24, 2018
OCTOBER

Shemini Atzeret - begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Also known as Atzereth, this is a fall festival, which includes a memorial service for the dead and features prayers for rain in Israel.

General Practices: Jews light a Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on Shemini Atzereth (the 8th night of Sukkot).

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).

  • *Oct. 4-5, 2015
  • *Oct. 23-24, 2016
  • *Oct. 11-12, 2017
  • *Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2018

Simchat Torah - begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Simchat Torah marks the completion of the annual cycle of the reading of the Torah in the synagogue and the beginning of the new cycle.

General Practices: Practitioners dance in synagogues as all the Torah scrolls are carried around in seven circuits.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Kosher restrictions apply.

  • *Oct. 5-6, 2015
  • *Oct. 24-25, 2016
  • *Oct. 12-13, 2017
  • *Oct. 1-2, 2018

Navaratri (Hindu)

Navarati is one of the greatest Hindu festivals, and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. During this time, Hindus worship Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.

General Practices: Durga is the mother goddess, and so Hindus try to visit their mothers and other relatives during this time. Some Hindus will pray and fast, and there are are often feasts and dances.

  • Oct. 13, 2015
  • Oct. 1, 2016
  • Sept. 21, 2017
  • Oct. 9, 2018

Birth of Bahá'u'lláh (Baha’i)
Holiday with significant work restriction


This holiday celebrates the birthday of Bahá'u'lláh, one of the Baha’I faith’s most important figures. For Bahá'ís, the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh is a Holy Day celebrating the rebirth of the world through the love of God, just as Christmas is for Christians.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. (Baha’i employees will likely request to have this day off.)

  • Nov. 12, 2015
  • Nov. 12, 2016
  • Nov. 12, 2017
  • Nov. 12, 2018

Samhain (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

One of the four "greater Sabbats" and considered by some to be the Wiccan New Year. A time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, welcome those born during the past year into the community, and reflecting on past relationships, events and other significant changes in life.

General Practices: Paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.

  • Oct. 31–Nov. 1, 2015
  • Oct. 31–Nov. 1, 2016
  • Oct. 31–Nov. 1, 2017
  • Oct. 31–Nov. 1, 2018
NOVEMBER

Diwali (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Diwali—the Hindu “festival of lights”—is an extremely popular holiday for multiple religions throughout Southern Asia. Diwali extends over five days, and celebrates the victory of good over evil. The Times of India described Diwali as “a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple.” Fireworks, oil lamps, and sweets are common, making this a favorite holiday for children. The lamps are lit to help the goddess Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes.

General Practices: Lighting oil lamps and candles, setting off fireworks, and prayer.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Hindu employees will likely request a vacation day on this date.

  • Nov. 11, 2015
  • Oct. 30, 2016
  • Oct. 19, 2017
  • Nov. 7, 2018
DECEMBER

Hanukkah / Chanukah - *begins at sundown (Jewish)


Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights, and lasts for eight days. Hanukkah commemorates the Jewish struggle for religious freedom. The history of the holiday involves a historic military victory in which a Jewish sect called the Maccabees defeated the Syrian Greeks. The celebration commemorates a miracle in which a sacred temple flame burned for eight days on only one day’s worth of oil.

General Practices: On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, Jewish families light an additional candle of the menorah candelabrum until all eight candles are lit. Jews celebrate with food and song, as well as exchanging gifts for eight days.

Date details: Hanukkah begins at sundown on the first day.

Recommended Accommodations: Academics and work permitted, not a work holiday. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply—potato pancakes, doughnuts or other fried food is customary).

  • *Dec. 6–14, 2015
  • *Dec. 24–Jan. 1, 2017
  • *Dec. 12–20, 2017
  • *Dec. 2–10, 2018

Yule / Midwinter / Alban Arthan / Winter Solstice (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

The longest night of the year followed by the sun's "rebirth" and lengthening of days. In most traditions, Yule is celebrated as the rebirth of the Great God, who is viewed as the newborn solstice sun. Some pagans consider Yule to be the beginning of the new year. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Burning the yule log (which was traditionally  part of last year’s yule tree) is an act of faith and renewal that, indeed, the light, and the warmth will return.

  • Dec. 20–Jan. 1, 2015
  • Dec. 20–Jan. 1, 2016
  • Dec. 20–Jan. 1, 2017
  • Dec. 20–Jan. 1, 2018

Christmas - *begins at sundown (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah whose message and self-sacrifice began the Christian religion.

General Practices: Many celebrate this holiday by giving gifts, attending church services, decorating Christmas trees, and visiting family.

Date details: Begins at sundown on Dec. 24 annually and continues with all day celebration on Dec. 25.

Recommended Accommodations: This is a national holiday in the United States, so special accommodations are likely not required.

  • *Dec. 24-25, 2015
  • *Dec. 24-25, 2016
  • *Dec. 24-25, 2017
  • *Dec. 24-25, 2018
JANUARY

Gantan-sai (Shinto)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Gantan-sai is the annual New Year festival of the Shinto religion.

General Practices: Practitioners pray for inner renewal, prosperity, and health, as well as visiting shrines and visiting friends and family.  

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on this date (work holiday)

  • Jan. 1, 2016
  • Jan. 1, 2017
  • Jan. 1, 2018

Epiphany / Twelfth Night / Three Kings Day (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)

This date is also known as Befana Day; commemorates the revelation of God through Jesus Christ and marks the time the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem and presented gifts to the baby Jesus.

General Practices: Prayer, festive meals, offerings, gifts

  • Jan. 6, 2016
  • Jan. 6, 2017
  • Jan. 6, 2018

Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah whose message and self-sacrifice began the Christian religion.

General Practices: Many celebrate this holiday by attending church services, holding celebratory meals, and visiting family.

Date details: Eastern Orthodox Christmas is determined by the Julian calendar which regulates ceremonial cycle of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

Recommended Accommodations: Because this holiday typically falls during winter break, academic accommodations may not be required. However many Eastern Orthodox employees will probably request this day off.

  • Jan. 7, 2016
  • Jan. 7, 2017
  • Jan. 7, 2018
FEBRUARY

Imbolc / Candlemas (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

Also referred to as the Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Feast of Waxing Lights, and Oimele. Celebrates the coming of spring and recovery of the Earth Goddess after giving birth to the Sun God at Yule. For many traditions, a time for initiations, re-dedication and pledges for the coming year. One of the four "greater Sabbats."

General Practices: Activities might include making candles, reading poetry and telling stories.

  • Feb. 1-2, 2016
  • Feb. 1-2, 2017
  • Feb. 1-2, 2018

Setsubum-sai (Shinto)

Setsubum-sai marks the beginning of spring, and is known as the “bean-throwing festival. The faithful scatter roasted beans to bring good luck to the new season.

  • Feb. 3, 2016
  • Feb. 3, 2017
  • Feb. 3, 2018

Chinese New Year (Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist)
Holiday with significant work restriction


This is the most important of traditional Chinese holidays.

General Practices: Families gather together to spend the evening preparing boiled dumplings and festive meals and giving of money to children in red envelopes.

Date details: Corresponds to the New Moon in Aquarius, which can fall from late January to mid-February

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Many Chinese employees will probably request this day off.

  • Feb. 8, 2016
  • Jan. 28, 2017
  • Feb. 16, 2018

Ash Wednesday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)

This is the first day of Lent, the period of forty days before Easter in which many Christians sacrifice ordinary pleasures to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice.

General Practices: On this day, there are special church services, and the faithful wear a cross of ashes marked on foreheads. Most Christians abstain from meat on this day.

Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested—prohibitions include animal products.

  • Feb. 10, 2016
  • March 1, 2017
  • Feb. 14, 2018

Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)

Magha Puja Day commemorates an important event in the life of the Buddha, in which the four disciples traveled to join the Buddha.

  • Feb 22, 2016
  • March 12, 2017
  • March 31, 2018
MARCH

Purim - *begins at sundown (Jewish)

Purim commemorates the time when the Jews were living in Persia and were saved by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

General Practices: Many Jews hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim, dressing in costumes, and read the Book of Esther. Triangular, fruit-filled pastries are eaten in opposition to the villain Haman, who wore a three-cornered hat.

Recommended Accommodations: Purim is not subject to the restrictions on work that affect some other holidays;  however, some sources indicate that Jews should not go about their ordinary business at Purim out of respect for the festival. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (kosher restrictions apply).

  • *March 23-24, 2016
  • *March 11-12, 2017
  • *Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2018

Palm Sunday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant / Eastern Orthodox Christianity)

A commemoration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as crowds lined his path with palm fronds

General Practices: Prayer, distribution of palm leaves commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion.

  • March 20, 2016
  • April 9, 2017
  • March 25, 2018

Ostara / Alban Eilir / Spring Equinox (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

Also known as Eostre. Regarded as a time of fertility and conception. In some Wiccan traditions, it is marked as the time when the Goddess conceives the God's child, which will be born at the winter solstice. One of eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Lighting fires to commemorate the return of light in the spring and to honor the God and Goddess. Coloring eggs as a way of honoring fertility is also practiced.

  • March 20, 2016
  • March 20, 2017
  • March 20, 2018

Naw Ruz - *begins at sundown (Baha’i)

This is the Baha’i New Year, a traditional celebration in Iran adopted as a holy day associated with Baha’i. It is a celebration of spring and new life.

General Practices: Festive music dancing, prayers, meetings, meals

  • *March 20-21, 2016
  • *March 20-21, 2017
  • *March 20-21, 2018

Holi (Hindu)

Also known as the “Festival of Colors,” this holiday can be traced to Hindu scriptures commemorating good over evil. This date is also a celebration of the colorful spring and a farewell to the dull winter.

General Practices: Hindus often sprinkle colored water and powder on others and celebrate with bonfires and lights, signifying victory of good over evil.

Date details: Celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar moon in late February or early March.

  • March 23, 2016
  • March 13, 2017
  • March 2, 2018

Maundy Thursday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)

Thursday before Easter, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles.

General Practices: Prayer, Communion (Eucharist), meals, and foot-washing ceremonies among some Christian denominations

Date details: Always falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.

  • March 24, 2016
  • April 13, 2017
  • March 29, 2018

Good Friday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)

Friday before Easter, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; among some sects of Christianity and in many countries marks a day of fasting.

General Practices: Prayer, fasting, and noon or afternoon services in some Christian denominations.

Date details: Always falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested—meat (fish is not considered meat) is prohibited during meals for some.

  • March 25, 2016
  • April 14, 2017
  • March 30, 2018

Easter (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

General Practices: Celebratory meals, family gatherings, distribution of colored eggs, baskets and chocolate bunnies. It is a celebration of renewal.

Date details: Easter Sunday is determined by the Gregorian calendar (Gregorian calendar regulates ceremonial cycle of the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches).

  • March 27, 2016
  • April 16, 2017
  • April 1, 2018
APRIL

Vaisakhi (Sikh)

Vaisakhi is the Sikh new year festival and commemorates 1699, the year Sikhism was born. Vaisakhi is also a long-established harvest festival.

General Practices: There are often parades, dancing, and singing throughout the day. These celebrations involve music, singing, and chanting of scriptures and hymns.

  • April 13, 2016
  • April 13, 2017
  • April 13, 2018

Pesach / Passover - *begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Pesach is a week-long observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II (one of three pilgrimage festivals).

General Practices: Family gatherings, ritualized meals called Seders, reading of the Haggadah, lighting of Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the last night of Passover.

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first two and last two days of the holiday, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply—the use of leavening is prohibited so, for example, matzah is eaten in place of bread.)

  • *April 22–30, 2016
  • *April 10–18, 2017
  • *Mar. 30–Apr. 7, 2018

Holy Friday / Good Friday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)

Friday before Easter, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; among some sects of Christianity and in many countries marks a day of fasting.

General Practices: Prayer, fasting, confession, and church services as well as the wrapping or dying of eggs (often red) in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Date details: Orthodox Good Friday is determined by the Julian calendar which regulates ceremonial cycle of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the date.

  • April 29, 2016
  • April 14, 2017
  • April 6, 2018
MAY

Beltane (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

The fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Jumping the balefire,dancing the MayPole.

  • May 1, 2016
  • May 1, 2017
  • May 1, 2018

Pascha / Easter (Eastern Orthodox Christian)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ

General Practices: Celebratory meals, family gatherings, distribution of colored eggs and baskets of breads, meats, eggs, cheeses and other foods. It is a celebration of renewal.

Date details: Easter Sunday is determined by the Julian calendar which regulates ceremonial cycle of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.

  • May 1, 2016
  • April 16, 2017
  • April 8, 2018

Yom HaSho’ah - *begins at sundown (Jewish)

Holocaust Remembrance Day; a day to remember the lives and names of Jewish victims and activists of the Holocaust.

General Practices: Ceremonies or events to remember Holocaust victims who died during World War II; activities may include lighting memorial candles and reciting the Kaddish, which is a prayer for the departed.

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: This is not a work holiday—academics and work are permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).

  • *May 4-5, 2016
  • *April 23-24, 2017
  • *April 11-12, 2018

Shavuot - *begins at sundown (Jewish)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Commemorates receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai (two of three pilgrimage festivals)

General Practices: Evening of devotional programs and studying the Torah, lighting of Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the second night of Shavuot.

Date details: Begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations:Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first two and last two days of the holiday. Provide food accommodation as requested.  (Kosher restrictions apply—although it is customary to eat dairy).

  • *June 11–13, 2016
  • *May 30–June 1, 2017
  • *May 19–21, 2018

Buddha Day / Visakha Puja (Buddhist)

This holiday is traditionally known as Buddha’s birthday. It is the major Buddhist festival, commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha.

General Practices: Buddhists often decorate their homes and visit their local temples. Observers are encouraged to refrain from slaughtering and to avoid eating meat on this date.

Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested, and offer vegetarian options when planning menus for events on this date.

  • May 14, 2016
  • May 3, 2017
  • May 22, 2018

Ascension of the Baha’ullah (Baha’i)

Commemorates the death of the founder of the Baha’i faith; Baha’llah died on May 29, 1892.

General Practices: Devotional programs and reading from the scriptures

  • May 29, 2015
  • May 29, 2016
  • May 29, 2017
  • May 29, 2018
JUNE

Ramadan - *begins at sundown (Islamic)

Ramadan is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays. Ramadan is notable because the Qur’an was first revealed during this month, and Muslims see the Qur’an as the ultimate form of guidance for mankind. The night that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad is called Lailat ul Oadr, and standing in prayer this one night is thought to eclipse months of worship.

General Practices: Fasting is required during the entire month of Ramadan. Muslims refrain from food and beverages during the daylight hours, and smoking and sexual relations are forbidden. Worshipers break the fasting each night with prayer, reading of the Qu’ran, and a meal called the iftar. In addition, many Muslims also attend night prayers at Mosques. Muslims also believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during this month than any other time of the year, so almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan.

Date Details: Dates are determined by the lunar calendar. Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice.  The observed date marks the beginning of a 30 day observation.

Recommended Accommodations: If possible, avoid scheduling major academic deadlines during this time. Be sensitive to the fact that students and employees celebrating Ramadan will be fasting during the day (continuously for 30 days) and will likely have less stamina as a result. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

  • *June 17-July 17, 2015
  • *June 5-July 5, 2016
  • *May 26-June 25, 2017
  • *May 15-June 14, 2018

Litha / Midsomer / Alban Hefin / Summer Solstice / (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

A celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. Celebration of the the Goddess manifesting as Mother Earth and the God as the Sun King. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest's fruits. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Lighting to bonfires and watching the sun rise

  • June 21, 2015
  • June 21, 2016
  • June 21, 2017
  • June 21, 2018
JULY

Eid al-Fitr - *begins at sundown (Islamic)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Eid al-Fitr means "break the fast", and is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting.

General Practices: Muslims often pray, exchange gifts, give money to children, feast, and celebrate with friends and family.

Date Details: Dates are determined by the lunar calendar. Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice. Eid al Fitr is a three day celebration and begins at sundown.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Employees will likely ask to take a vacation day on this day, and that request should be granted if at all possible.  If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

  • *July 17-18, 2015
  • *July 4-5, 2016
  • *June 24-25, 2017
  • *June 14-15, 2018

Tisha B’Av - *begins at sundown (Jewish)

Commemorates a series of Jewish tragedies including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

General practices: Fasting and mourning.

Date details: Begins at sundown on first day, fast deferred because of the Sabbath.

Recommended accommodations: Plan limited activities after a fast.

  • *July 25-26, 2015
  • *July 13-14, 2016
  • *July 31-Aug. 1, 2017
  • *July 21-22, 2018

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Last Updated: June 25, 2015