Hendricks Chapel

Holy Days and Holidays

Religious Observances Policy

Syracuse University recognizes the diverse faith traditions represented among its campus community and supports the rights of faculty, staff, and students to observe according to these traditions.

All University offices are asked to be sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff, and students who are observing a religious holiday when scheduling meetings and events.

Deans, department chairs, and program directors are asked to make every effort to avoid scheduling meetings or events at times that would exclude faculty who are observing a religious holiday from participation.

Supervisors are asked to be supportive of staff members who request vacation or personal time to observe a religious holiday and to make every effort to avoid scheduling meetings or events at times that would exclude such staff members from participation.

Students are asked to consider that it is more difficult to arrange appropriate accommodations in some kinds of courses - for example, those that have certain kinds of laboratories or a significant experiential learning component - so students should consider their need for accommodation for religious observances as they plan their schedule each semester. Students should recall that not every course is offered every academic year and that the catalog indicates how frequently each course is offered.

Faculty are asked to make appropriate accommodation for students' observance needs by providing an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement that is missed because of an absence due to a religious observance, provided the instructor has been notified no later than the end of the second week of classes for regular session classes and by the submission deadline for flexibly formatted classes. No fees will be charged to the student for the costs incurred by the University for such make-up work. If a faculty member is unwilling or unable to make an appropriate accommodation, the student should consult his or her academic dean.

Syracuse University recognizes that the faith traditions observed by our diverse community include more holidays than can be captured adequately in a list. In addition, some observances vary by tradition and by country and are defined by the lunar calendar. However, to assist in identifying religious observance days, Hendricks Chapel has compiled a list of religious holidays that reflect a large proportion of the University community and that may or may not fall on University work and class days.

The chapel also recommends consulting the more comprehensive Interfaith Calendar.

Religious Observances Policy

Syracuse University recognizes the diverse faith traditions represented among its campus community and supports the rights of faculty, staff, and students to observe according to these traditions.

All University offices are asked to be sensitive to the needs of faculty, staff, and students who are observing a religious holiday when scheduling meetings and events.

Deans, department chairs, and program directors are asked to make every effort to avoid scheduling meetings or events at times that would exclude faculty who are observing a religious holiday from participation.

Supervisors are asked to be supportive of staff members who request vacation or personal time to observe a religious holiday and to make every effort to avoid scheduling meetings or events at times that would exclude such staff members from participation.

Students are asked to consider that it is more difficult to arrange appropriate accommodations in some kinds of courses - for example, those that have certain kinds of laboratories or a significant experiential learning component - so students should consider their need for accommodation for religious observances as they plan their schedule each semester. Students should recall that not every course is offered every academic year and that the catalog indicates how frequently each course is offered.

Faculty are asked to make appropriate accommodation for students' observance needs by providing an opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement that is missed because of an absence due to a religious observance, provided the instructor has been notified no later than the end of the second week of classes for regular session classes and by the submission deadline for flexibly formatted classes. No fees will be charged to the student for the costs incurred by the University for such make-up work. If a faculty member is unwilling or unable to make an appropriate accommodation, the student should consult his or her academic dean.

Syracuse University recognizes that the faith traditions observed by our diverse community include more holidays than can be captured adequately in a list. In addition, some observances vary by tradition and by country and are defined by the lunar calendar. However, to assist in identifying religious observance days, Hendricks Chapel has compiled a list of religious holidays that reflect a large proportion of the University community and that may or may not fall on University work and class days.

The chapel also recommends consulting the more comprehensive Interfaith Calendar.


 *Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date. 
Bold titles
are primary holy days of a tradition.

August, 2016 - July, 2017 - Holy Days and Holidays


AUGUST 2016

  • 1
    - Lughnasadh Pagan Celebration of midpoint between solstice and equinox marking first harvest, observed by some Christians as Lammas
  • 13
    - Erev Tisha Be’Av
  • 13-15
    - Obon * - Buddhist and Shinto Japanese Buddhist festival to honor ancestors
  • 14
    - Tisha Be’Av – Jewish Fast day mourning the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem, and other devastations in Jewish history
  • 15
    - Assumption of Mary Christian celebration of assumption of Mary into heaven
  • 18
    - Raksha Bandhan * - Hindu festival honoring family ties between siblings
    -
    Erev Tu Be’Av
  • 19
    - Tu Be’Av – Jewish Holiday of love
  • 25
    - Krishna Janmashtami * - Hindu Festival celebrating the god Ganesha
  • 29-5
    - Paryushana Parva * - Jain Eight Day Jain festival of devotion
     

SEPTEMBER 2016

  • 5
    - Ganesh Chaturthi * - Hindu Festival honoring family ties between siblings
  • 9-10
    - Day of Arafah - Hajj - Islam (begins sundown on 9) Day of assembly on the plain of Arafah in Hajj.  Optional day of fasting for non-pilgrims
  • 10-13
    - Eid al Adha - Sacrifice Day - Islam (begins sundown on 10) Muslim celebration honoring the spiritual sacrifice of his son by prophet Abraham
  • 22-23  
    - Mabon Pagan (begins sundown on September 22) Observance of autumn equinox and harvest festival

  • 28
    - Birth of Confucius 
          Observed in all religious traditions emanating from China

OCTOBER 2016

  • 1-10
    - Navaratri * - Hindu Nine-night Hindu festival
  • 2
    - Erev Rosh Hashanah Jewish Eve of the Jewish New Year and beginning of High Holy Days (begins at sundown)
    - Hijra - New Year - Islam Muslim new year, marking the emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madinah 622 CE
  • 3-4
    - Rosh Hashanah * - Jewish New Year
  • 10
    - Indigenous People’s Day Interfaith celebration of cultural heritage of indigenous peoples of Western hemisphere
  • 11
    - Erev Yom Kippur – Jewish Eve of the Day of Atonement, observed with fasting (begins at sundown)
    - Ashura - Islam Muslim commemoration of Prophet Moses delivering his people from Pharaoh (a day of optional fasting accompanied with a day of fasting before [10] and/or after [12]) and trails endured by leaders among Prophet Muhammad’s family
  • 12
    - Yom Kippur - Jewish Day of Atonement, observed with fasting
  • 11
    - Dasara * - Hindu End of Navaratri
  • 15
    - Bodhidharma Day – Zen Buddhist Honors Zen ancestor Bodhidharma who brought Zen from India to China
  • 16       
    -
    Erev Sukkot
  • 17-23
    - Sukkot - Jewish Eight-day remembrance of God’s protection during time in the wilderness.  Observed by eating in a temporary hut called a “sukkah.” (begins at sundown on October 16, concludes on October 23)
  • 20
    - Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh Installation of the Guru Granth Sahib Recognition of Sikh sacred writings as tenth and final guru
  • 23       
    -
    Erev Shemini Atzeret
  • 24
    - Shemini Atzeret  - Jewish Last day of Sukkot. (Begins at sundown on October 23)
    -
    Erev Simchat Torah
  • 25
    - Simchat Torah - Jewish day of rejoicing to celebrate the yearly completion of reading the whole Torah. (Begins at sundown on October 24)
  • 30
    - Diwali (Deepavali) * - Hindu - Jain - Sikh Hindu festival of lights honoring various legends across the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh traditions
  • 31
    - Samhain Pagan Observance of midpoint between equinox and solstice, descent into depths of winter
    -
    All Hallows Eve – Christian Celebration derived from Celtic Samhain, beginning two-day remembrance of the dead
    -
    New Year * - Jain Celebration of the new year

NOVEMBER 2016

  • 1
    - All Saints Day – Christian Celebration of lives of the saints
    -
    Birth of The Báb – Bahá’í Commemoration of the birth of the Báb (The "Gate"), the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í faith
  • 2
    - All Souls Day/Dia de los Muertos - Christian Day of interceding for those who have died
    -
    Birth of Bahá'u'lláh - Bahá’í Commemoration of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh (translated ‘Glory of God’), the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í faith
  • 14
    - Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday - Sikh Birth of first guru and founder of Sikh faith 1469 CE
  • 24
    - Thanksgiving - Interfaith USA
  • 25
    - Day of The Covenant – Bahá’í The day when Bahá'ís celebrate the appointment of `Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá'u'lláh’s Covenant
  • 27
    - Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá’ - Bahá’í Commemoration the ascension of `Abdu'l-Bahá who passed away on November 28, 1921, in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel)
          

DECEMBER 2016

  • 6
    - Saint Nicholas Day - Christian Feast of saint popularly known as Santa Claus for his generosity
  • 8
    - Immaculate Conception - Christian Catholic feast honoring conception of Mary, mother of Jesus
  • 8
    - Bodhi Day * - Buddhist Celebration of beginning of path to enlightenment of the Buddha
  • 11-12
    - Mawlid al-Nabi – Islam (begins sundown on December 11) The day that commemorates the birth of the last Prophet of Islam, Muhammad c.570 CE
  • 12
    - Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe - Christian Catholic celebration of Mary as patron saint of Mexico
  • 16 - 25
    - Posadas Navidenas – Christian Mexican Catholic reenactment of journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem
  • 21 
    - Yule - Pagan Observance of rebirth of the sun after longest night of winter
    - Remembrance Vigil for Pan Am 103 - Interfaith Syracuse University service of remembrance for the victims of Pan Am 103
  • 22
    - Fast of Tevet 10 - Jewish Day of mourning and repentance marking the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. In recent years, it also is a day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.
  • 23
    - Human Light Secular celebration of humanist vision of peace and goodwill among all 
  • 24
    - Christmas Eve – Christian Eve of traditional Western date observing birth of Christ in twelve-day festival lasting to Epiphany
    - Hanukkah - Jewish Eight-night Jewish festival of lights remembering Maccabean victory and rededication of Temple 165 BCE. (First candle is lit at sundown on December 24.  Holiday concludes at nightfall on January 1.)
  • 25
    - Christmas - Christian Traditional Western date observing birth of Christ in twelve-day festival lasting to Epiphany
  • 26
    - First Day of Kwanzaa Weeklong celebration of African American life and cultural heritage 
    - Zarathosht Diso *- Zoroastrian Death of founding prophet Zarathushtra 
  • 31
    - Watch Night - Christian Ritual service of preparation for the year to come

JANUARY 2017

  • 1
    - Mary, Mother of God - Christian Catholic day of prayer and thanksgiving to Mary, mother of Jesus
    - Basil the Great - Orthodox Christian Celebration of defender of orthodoxy Basil of Caesarea
    - Gantan-sai - Shinto Shinto new year festival
  • 5
    - Guru Gobindh Singh birthday - Sikh Celebration of final master of Sikh faith 1666 CE
  • 8
    - Epiphany Christian Festival celebrating the revelation of God in Jesus and the visit of the sages to the Christ child
  • 7
    - Feast of the Nativity - Orthodox Christian Traditional celebration of Christmas for Eastern Orthodox Christians
  • 9
    - Baptism of the Lord Jesus - Christian Commemoration of the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.
  • 13
    - Maghi - Sikh Commemoration of battle of Chali Mukte 1705 CE
  • 16
    - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Interfaith United States celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 19-25
    - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Christian Seven days of ecumenical prayer for unity
                 

FEBRUARY 2017

  • 1
    - Vasant Panchami * - Hindu Vasant Panchami is the festival honoring Saraswati, goddess of learning, wisdom, music, and art
  • 2
    - Imbolc Pagan Feast of waxing light, midpoint between solstice and equinox 
    - Candlemas - Christian Celebration of the presentation of Jesus in the temple.  New beginnings are recognized
  • 3
    - Setsebun sai * - Shinto Shinto celebration of approach of spring as invitation to good fortune
  • 5
    - Four Chaplains Sunday - Interfaith Commemoration of the event in World War II when four Chaplains of Jewish and Christian traditions (Catholic and Protestant) gave their life jackets to others as a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • 8
    - Chinese New Year - Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist Beginning of Chinese celebration of a new year for people of all religions
  • 10
    - Thaipusam – Hindu Tamil festival that honors the deity Murugan
    - Erev Tu Bishvat
  • 11
    - Tu BiShvat - Jewish  Celebration of the New Year of the Trees. (Begins at sundown on February 10)
  • 14
    - St. Valentine's Day - Christian Festival of love loosely connected to Christian saint
  • 15
    - Nirvana Day * - Buddhist - Jain Commemoration of passing into Nirvana of the Buddha
  • 25
    - Maha Shivaratri *- Hindu Festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati
  • 25-28
    - Ayyám-i-Há -  Bahá’í Intercalary days in the Bahá'í calendar, when Bahá'ís celebrate the Festival of Ayyám-i-Há (also known as ‘Days of Gift-Giving’)
  • 27
    - Clean Monday - Orthodox Christian First day of Lent
  • 28
    - Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras - Christian Day of preparation for Lent, observed by feasting and carnival activities

MARCH 2017

  • 1
    - Ash Wednesday - Christian First of forty days of Western Christian penitential observance of Lent
  • 1-19
    - The Bahá’í Fasting Period - Bahá’í  Last month of the Bahá’í calendar – Bahá’ís abstain from food and drinks between sunrise to sunset
  • 5
    - Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Christian First Sunday of Lent. Restoration of icons to the church is celebrated
  • 9
    - Fast of Esther – Jewish Day preceding Purim that commemorates the fast Esther requested the Jewish people observe in preparation of her going to see the King uninvited
  • 11
    - Erev Purim
  • 12
    - Purim - Jewish Holiday marking deliverance from Haman's genocidal plot against Jewish people in ancient Persia as related in Book of Esther. (Begins on March 11 at sundown)
  • 13
    - Holi * - Hindu Festival of spring
  • 14
    - Beginning of Great Lent - Orthodox Christian Fasting season which prepares Orthodox Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter)
  • 17
    - Saint Patrick’s Day –Christian Celebration of Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland
  • 20 
    - Ostara Pagan Spring equinox festival celebrating reawakening
    - Naw-Rúz - Bahá’í New Year (173 B.E.)
  • 23
    - Magha Puja Day * - Buddhist Commemoration of presentation of Buddha to the world
  • 28- April 5
    - Ramayana * - Hindu Festival leading up to the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana
  • 28
    - Khordad Sal* - Zoroastrian Birthday of Zarathustra, founding prophet of Zoroastrianism

APRIL 2017

  • 5
    - Ramanavami * - Hindu Celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana
  • 8         
    - Vesak - Buddhist Celebrates the Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha
  • 9
    - Palm Sunday – Christian Beginning of Western Christian Holy Week, also known as Passion Sunday
  • 10
    - Erev Pesach (Passover)
    - First Seder
  • 11
    - Pesach (Passover) – Jewish Eight-day commemoration of freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. (Begins with First Seder at sundown on April 10.  Second Seder begins at nightfall on April 11.  Holiday concludes at nightfall on April 18)
    - Second Seder
    - Mahavir Jayanti * - Jain Birth of founder of Jain tradition Mahavira 540 BCE
  • 13
    - Maundy Thursday – Christian Remembrance of Christ’s last supper
  • 14
    - Good Friday - Christian Remembrance of the crucifixion and death of Christ
    - Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) * - Sikh
  • 15
    - Holy Saturday Christian Day of vigil culminating in observance of resurrection of Christ
  • 16
    - Easter - Christian Feast of resurrection of Christ
    - Holy Friday - Orthodox Christian Anniversary of death of Christ, as commemorated by Orthodox Christians
  • 20
    - 1st Day of Ridvan - Bahá’í – Baha’i’s celebrate the day Baha’u’llah arrived at the Garden of Ridvan.
  • 23
    - Erev Yom Ha’Shoah
    - Lailat al Miraj - Islam The day that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad's nighttime journey, in 622 CE, to Heaven to meet with God and to meet with his fellow Prophets like Abraham and Moses.
  • 24
    - Yom Ha’Shoah - Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day (begins at sunset on April 23)
  • 28
    - 9th Day of Ridvan - Bahá’í – Baha’i’s celebrate the day Baha’u’llah declared the Mission and Purpose of the Baha’i Faith.

MAY 2017

  • 1
    - Beltane Pagan Celebration of midpoint between equinox and solstice, celebrating earth’s fertility
    - Pascha (Easter) - Orthodox Christian Celebration of the resurrection of Christ, beginning at midnight
    - Erev Yom Ha’Atzmaut
    - 12th Day of Ridvan - Bahá’í – Baha’i’s commemorate the day Baha’u’llah departed from the Garden of Ridvan and continued His exile.
  • 2
    - Yom Ha'Atzmaut - Jewish Celebration of Independence Day in Israel. (Begins at sunset on May 1)
  • 11
    - Lailat al Bara'ah/Nisf Sha’ban - Islam (night of May 11) Optional Night of prayer
  • 13
    - Erev Lag Ba’Omer
  • 14
    - Lag Ba'Omer - Jewish Celebration of the 33 day of  counting the Omer - a 49 day period between Pesach and Shavout. (Begins at sunset on May 13)
  • 23
    - Declaration of The Báb - Bahá’í – Celebration of the day when The Báb announced He was "the bearer of a Divine Revelation which would prepare humanity for the advent of the Promised One of all religions."
  • 25
    - Ascension of the Lord – Christian Festival marking the bodily ascension of Jesus into Heaven
  • 26-27
    - Ramadan begins – Islam (begins sundown on 26) Muslim Holy Month of daily fasting (from dawn to sunset) and nightly prayers begins.
  • 28
    - Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh - Baha'i Commemoration of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í faith.
  • 30
    - Erev Shavuot

JUNE 2017

  • 1
    - Shavuot - Jewish Festival of receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai. (Begins at sunset on May 30 and concludes at nightfall on June 1.)
  • 4
    - Pentecost – Christian Celebration of descent of Holy Spirit upon followers of Christ
  • 15- 24
    - Laylatul Qadr -The Night of Destiny -Islam (begins sundown on 15).  Muslim commemoration of the Holy Night, in Ramadan, when the Qur`an was revealed.  It can fall on any of the 10 nights and these nights are spent in worship, prayers, and supplications. This night is also when the destiny of all things is determined for the coming year.
  • 24-25
    - Eid al Fitr – Festival of the Completion of the Fast/End of Ramadan – Islam (begins sundown on 24). Muslim celebration showing gratitude for a successful completion of fasting in the Holy month of Ramadan. The day begins with a distribution of charity to the needy the night before (24), followed by morning prayer services the next day (25) and gatherings with family, friends, and relatives.

JULY 2017

  • 9
    - Martyrdom of the Báb - Baha’i - The Báb, Forerunner of Baha'u'llah, was publicly executed for announcing the nearing arrival of the Promised One, and the prophesied dawn of a new day.