桃瘾社区 encourages students, faculty and staff to be aware and respectful of the diverse religious observances of college community members.

The calendar below is not a comprehensive list of holy days, but it includes dates of particular significance to traditions represented on campus that occur during the months that the academic year is in session. A description of each holy day may be found below the calendar.听Suggestions for additions to this list may be directed to Chaplain Julia Watkins.

Holy days may fall on different dates from year to year because many are calculated based on a lunar calendar. Dates of holy day observances may also vary regionally.

*Jewish and Muslim holy days begin at sundown on the first day indicated.
**Holy days on which absence from work or school is common.

2023-2024 Religious Observance Calendar

Date Holy Day Tradition
September 15* 鈥 17 **Rosh Hashanah Jewish
September 24* 鈥 25 **Yom Kippur Jewish
September 29* - October 6 Sukkot Jewish
Various dates in October Kathina Theravada Buddhist
October 15 - 23 Navratri Hindu
November 1 All Saints' Day听 Western Christian
November 12 鈥 16 Diwali/Tihar begins (5 days) Hindu/Jain
December 7* 鈥 15 Hanukkah Jewish
December 25 **Christmas Christian
January 7 **Feast of the Nativity Orthodox Christian
February 10 Lunar New Year Many traditions in most Asian nations
Various dates in Spring Buddhist New Year Buddhist
February 14 Ash Wednesday Catholic/Protestant Christian
March 10* 鈥 April 9 Ramadan Muslim
March 21 Nowruz (New Year) Zoroastrian/Persian
March 25 Holi Hindu
March 29 **Good Friday Catholic/Protestant Christian
March 31 **Easter Catholic/Protestant Christian
Various dates in April Water Festival Many traditions in most Asian nations
April 9* 鈥 10 **Eid al-Fitr Muslim
April 22* 鈥 April 29 **Pesach/Passover Jewish
May 3 **Holy Friday Orthodox Christian
May 5 **Pascha Orthodox Christian
May 5* 鈥 6 Yom HaShoah Jewish
May 23 (dates vary by region) Vesak (Buddha Day) Buddhist

Upcoming Years

2024-2025

Date Holy Day Tradition
October 2*- 4听 **Rosh Hashanah Jewish
October 3 -12听 Navratri Hindu/Jain
October听 11*-12 **Yom Kippur Jewish
October 16*-23 Sukkot Jewish
Various dates in October Kathin Theravada Buddhist
October 31- November 4 Diwali/Tihar听听 Hindu/Jain
November 1 All Saints鈥 Day Catholic/Protestant Christian
December 25 **Christmas Catholic/Protestant Christian
December 25*-January 2 Hanukkah Jewish
January 7 **Feast of the Nativity Orthodox Christian
January 29 Lunar New Year Many traditions in most Asian nations
February 28*- March 30 Ramadan Muslim
Various dates in Spring Buddhist New Year Buddhist
March 5 Ash Wednesday Catholic/Protestant Christian
March 14 Holi Hindu/Jain
March 21 Nowruz (New Year) Zoroastrian/Persian
March 30*-31 **Eid al-Fitr Muslim
Various dates in April Water Festival Many traditions in most Asian nations
April 12*-20 **Pesach/Passover Jewish
April 18 **Good/Holy Friday Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox听Christian
April 20 **Easter/Pascha Catholic/Protestant/Orthodox Christian
April 23*-24 Yom HaShoah Jewish
May 12 (dates vary by region) Vesak (Buddha Day) Buddhist

2025-2026

Date Holy Day Tradition
September 22* 鈥 24 **Rosh Hashanah Jewish
September 22 鈥 October 2 Navratri Hindu
October 1* 鈥 2 **Yom Kippur Jewish
October 6* 鈥 13 Sukkot Jewish
Various dates in October Kathin Theravada Buddhist
October 20 鈥 24 Diwali/Tihar Hindu/Jain
November 1 All Saints' Day听 Catholic/Protestant Christian
December 14* 鈥 22 Hanukkah Jewish
December 25 **Christmas Catholic/Protestant Christian
January 7 **Feast of the Nativity Orthodox Christian
February 17 Lunar New Year Many traditions in most Asian nations
February 17* 鈥 March 20 Ramadan Muslim
Various dates in Spring Buddhist New Year Buddhist
February 18 Ash Wednesday Catholic/Protestant Christian
March 4 Holi Hindu/Jain
March 21 Nowruz (New Year) Zoroastrian/Persian
March 19* 鈥 20 **Eid al-Fitr Muslim
Various dates in April Water Festival Many traditions in most Asian nations
April 1* 鈥 9 **Pesach/Passover Jewish
April 3 **Good Friday Catholic/Protestant Christian
April 5 **Easter Catholic/Protestant Christian
April 10 **Holy Friday Orthodox Christian
April 12 **Pascha Orthodox Christian
April 13* 鈥 14 Yom HaShoah Jewish
May 1听(dates vary by region) Vesak (Buddha Day) Buddhist

Holy Day Traditions

Asian Traditions

Lunar New Year听鈥 One of the most important festivals celebrated in Asian cultures. In the West, Lunar New Year is often referred to as Chinese New Year. Activities include making offerings to household deities, hosting banquets for family and friends, and festive parades.

Water Festival听鈥 The New Year鈥檚 celebration in several Southeast Asian countries. In some regions, dragon boat races are held and lanterns floated on rivers to bring blessings. People splash water at one another in a boisterous cleansing ritual of good will.

Buddhist Traditions

Kathina 鈥撎Kathina is a South and Southeast Asian Theravada Buddhist holiday that occurs at the end of the annual three-month rainy season monastic retreat. Kathina is celebrated by the laity giving monks and nuns new robes and other practical supplies for temple and monastic practices. Individual temples can choose to celebrate Kathina any time within one month after the end of the rains retreat, which usually concludes in early October.

Buddhist New Year听鈥 Buddhists celebrate the new year on various full moon days early in the Western calendar year: late January or early February in China, Korea, and Vietnam, a month later in Tibet, and April in Southeast Asia. Practices to mark the Buddhist New Year vary with geographical and cultural location, but often include families visiting temples together, conducting ceremonies at home, visiting friends and relatives, and exchanging presents.

Vesak (Buddha Day) 鈥 Celebrated every year on the full moon in May, this is the most significant Buddhist holiday. Buddhists all over the world celebrate this day of the year on which (in different years) the Buddha was born, attained full awakening (enlightenment), and died over 2,500 years ago. Activities vary across Buddhist groups, but often include laypeople visiting a temple or monastery where they offer food to the monastics and to the poor, meditate, listen to the chanting of scriptures, and honor the Buddha with gifts of flowers and incense and food presented before images of the Buddha.

Christian Traditions

Christmas听鈥 A holy day celebrating of the birth of Jesus. Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians observe Christmas on December 25. Orthodox Christians, who refer to this holy day as the Feast of the Nativity and the Incarnation of Christ, observe it on January 7.

Ash Wednesday听鈥 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day liturgical season in which many Catholic and Protestant Christians prepare through fasting, prayer, and penance for renewing baptismal promises at Easter.

Good/Holy Friday听鈥 A solemn holy day commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. Many Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians observe it as a fast day. Christians of many denominations attend worship services. Absence from work or school is common.

Easter/Pascha听鈥 A day celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Absence from work or school is common.

Hindu Traditions

Navratri 鈥 Navratri (鈥渘ine nights鈥 in Sanskrit) is an autumn festival that takes many forms across India, most serving as reminders of the greatness of the divine feminine that rescues humanity from ignorance and evil. In Northern India, young girls considered manifestations of divine creative power are honored with gifts. Western Indian celebrations include a festive dance called Garba. In Eastern India, devotees worship the nine avatars of the goddess Durga who defeats a demon king. In South India, celebrants create elaborate displays of dolls and figurines known as Golu.

Diwali/Tihar听鈥 A fall festival of lights signifying the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Rituals of lighting candles and other forms of light extend over a five day period, with the primary celebrations on the first night. The festival is celebrated as Tihar in Nepal and the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal, and as Diwali in the rest of India.

Holi听鈥 A spring festival of colors celebrating life and signifying the victory of good over evil. Participants frolic in parks or other open areas, chasing and covering each other with dry colored powder and water.

Jewish Traditions

Rosh HaShanah听鈥 The Jewish New Year, which marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, self-examination, and repentance known as the High Holy Days. Many Jews observe it with prayer and reflection in a synagogue. Absence from work or school is common on the first day of Rosh HaShanah.

Yom Kippur听鈥 The holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement" and refers to the annual observance of fasting, prayer, and repentance. Absence from work or school is common.

Sukkot听鈥 Sukkot, meaning "booths" or "huts," is the seven-day festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest.

Hanukkah听鈥 Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah) is the eight-day Festival of Lights commemorating the reconsecration of the Temple of Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. after a group of Jewish rebels known as the Maccabees defeated the occupying Syrian army. Hanukkah is a special and joyous time of year.

Pesach/Passover听鈥 A major Jewish festival lasting seven days, Pesach (Passover in English) commemorates the Exodus of Jews from slavery in Egypt. The ritual observance of this holiday centers upon a home service called the seder (meaning "order") and a festive meal. Jews often attend ritual observances on the first, second, and final evenings.

Yom HaShoah听鈥 This solemn day serves as a memorial to those who died in the Holocaust. Shoah, which means catastrophe or utter destruction in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities committed against the Jewish people during World War II. It is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Shavuot听鈥 This festival marks the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. It is a celebration of Torah, education, and actively choosing to participate in Jewish life.

Muslim Traditions

Ramadan听鈥 The ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar, which adult Muslims observe by fasting every day, abstaining from all food, drink, and sex from before dawn to sunset.

Eid al-Fitr听鈥 This day marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the first day of the month of Shawwal. The day begins with a special Eid prayer and involves day-long festivities. Celebrations may last up to three days. Absence from work or school is common.

Eid al-Adha听鈥 This day commemorates Abraham鈥檚 willingness to sacrifice his son to God. Muslims celebrate with the customary sacrifice of animals, sharing of the sacrificed animals鈥 meat with family and the poor, a special Eid prayer, and social gatherings. Celebrations may last up to three days. Absence from work or school is common.

Ashura听鈥 Shi鈥檃 Muslims commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn 鈥楢li, the third Shi鈥檌te Imam and grandson of Muhammad, observing the day by mourning his death. Sunni Muslims commemorate God鈥檚 freeing of the Israelites from slavery to the Pharaoh of Egypt by observing a fast. Absence from work or school is common.

Zoroastrian/Persian Traditions

Nowruz听鈥撎Known as the Solar (Persian) New Year, Nowruz falls on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. The celebration of this holiday originated during the era of the religious reformer Zoroaster. For those who observe Nowruz today (including Baha'is, Muslims, and Zoroastrians, among others), the day is holy for it marks their spiritual New Year, a time of inner renewal. In the days leading up to Nowruz, families meticulously clean their homes, and they set up a haft-seen table with seven items that start with the letter 鈥榮鈥, each of which symbolizes an ancient Persian holy spirit. For people of many backgrounds throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, Nowruz is a cultural holiday to celebrate the renewal of life.