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Multifaith & Inclusive Holiday Calendar Division of Inclusive Excellence

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Multifaith & Inclusive Holiday Calendar

This page provides a list of inclusive, multifaith holidays with brief descriptions. We encourage using this calendar in your planning of campus activities to be inclusive and respectful, by taking into account the special cultural and religious celebrations and commemorations that are honored by many in the Hornet Family.

January 2023

Jan 1 - Gantan-sai (Shinto)

Gantan-sai is the annual New Year festival of the Shinto religion. Practitioners pray for inner renewal, prosperity and health, as well as visiting shrines and visiting friends and family.

Jan 6 - 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. Prayer, festive meals, offerings, gifts.

Jan 7–22 - Chinese New Year (Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist)

The holiday date corresponds to the New Moon in Aquarius, which can fall from late January to mid-February. Families gather together to spend the evening preparing boiled dumplings and festive meals and giving of money to children in red envelopes.

January 7 - Christmas (Eastern Orthodox Christian)

Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah whose message and self-sacrifice began the Christian religion. Eastern Orthodox Christmas is determined by the Julian calendar which regulates ceremonial cycle of the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.Many celebrate this holiday by attending church services, holding celebratory meals and visiting family.

February 2023

Feb 1 - 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. Activities might include making candles, reading poetry and telling stories.

Feb 22 - 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. 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.

March 2023

Mar 6 - 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.

Mar 6 - Purim – Begins at Sundown (Jewish)

Purim begins at sundown and commemorates the time when the Jews who were living in Persia were saved from genocide by the courage of a young Jewish woman named Esther. 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.

Mar 21 - Naw-Rúz – 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. The holiday is celebrated with festive music dancing, prayers, meetings, meals.

Mar 22 - April 21 – 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.

Common 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).

April 2023

Apr 5 - 13 - Pesach/Passover Wednesday, April 5 - Thursday, April 14, (Jewish)

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). Family gatherings, ritualized meals called Seders, reading of the Haggadah, and lighting of Yahrzeit memorial candle occur at sundown on the last night of Passover.

Common Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first two and last two days of the holiday.

Apr 6 - Maundy Thursday (Christian/Roman Catholic and Protestant)

Thursday before Easter, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles is Maundy Thursday. The day is commemorated with prayer, communion (Eucharist), meals, and foot-washing ceremonies among some Christian denominations.

Apr 7 - 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. Prayer, fasting, and noon or afternoon services are practices in some Christian denominations.

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

Apr 9 - Easter (Christian/Roman Catholic and Protestant)

Annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Celebratory meals, family gatherings, distribution of colored eggs, baskets and chocolate bunnies. It is a celebration of renewal.

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

Apr 14 - Holy Friday/Good Friday (Eastern Orthodox Christian)

Orthodox Good Friday is determined by the Julian calendar Friday before Easter, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; among some sects of Christianity and in many countries marks a day of fasting. Common practices include prayer, fasting, confession, and church services as well as the wrapping or dying of eggs (often red) in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Apr 14 - Vaisakhi (Sikh)

Vaisakhi is the Sikh festival that commemorates 1699, the year of the creation of the Khalsa Panth. Vaisakhi is also a long-established harvest festival. There are often parades, dancing, singing and celebrations involving chanting of scriptures and hymns.

Apr 16 - Pascha/Easter (Eastern Orthodox Christian)

Annual commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This celebration of renewal often includes meals, family gatherings, distribution of colored eggs and baskets of breads, meats, eggs, cheeses and other foods.

Apr 17 - Yom HaSho’ah - Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jewish)

Holocaust Remembrance Day is a day to remember the lives and names of Jewish relatives and friends. 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 deceased.

Apr 22 - Eid al-Fitr – Begins at Sundown (Islamic)

Eid al-Fitr means “break the fast”, and is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting. Muslims often pray, exchange gifts, give money to children, feast, and celebrate with friends and family. Eid al Fitr is a three day celebration and begins at sundown.

May 2023

May 1- Beltane (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

The fire festival includes jumping the balefire, dancing the MayPole to celebrate the coming of summer and the fertility of the coming year.

May 25 -27 - Shavuot – Begins at Sundown (Jewish)

Evening of devotional programs and studying the Torah, lighting of Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the second night of Shavuot in commemoration of the receipt of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

May 26 - Buddha Day / Vesak (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. 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.

May 29 - Ascension of the Baha'u'llah (Baha’i)

Commemorates the death of the founder of the Baha’i faith (May 29, 1892) and is marked with devotional programs and reading from the scriptures.

June 2023

Jun 21 - 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. Solstice is often celebrated by lighting to bonfires and watching the sun rise.