2020-2021 Multifaith Religious Holiday Calendar

Multifaith Religious Holiday Calendar
Academic Year 2020-2021

 

Faculty (including coaches) receive annual reminders of this policy and are encouraged to work carefully with students in anticipating and resolving conflicts to their mutual satisfaction.

 

Because no Williams student should ever have to choose between important religious observances and academic or athletic commitments, college policy provides for students who wish to participate in religious observances that conflict with other obligations to make arrangements with their instructors and coaches to do so.

 

The policy, approved in 1984 by the faculty and trustees in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, states that “Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such requirement, and shall be provided an opportunity to make up such requirement which s/he may have missed because of such absence now provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon the College. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student” who makes use of this provision of college policy.

 

The list that follows is not exhaustive. It includes notable festivals and holy days that may require appropriate accommodations for students and employees; although by no means are all religious traditions represented in the Williams community. (If this calendar does not include a significant date of your religious tradition, please let us know.) Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate. Note that some holidays in some traditions are tied to the lunar calendar or to particular cultural patterns that vary by region or by which make their location in the calendar somewhat more fluid. Dates marked with a double asterisk (**) denote occasions on which the precept of a particular tradition and the practice of nearly all its adherents, includes significant restrictions on academic activity.

 

Islamic Holidays: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

 

For holidays associated with Christianity, the following notations are used to denote observance by particular strands of the Christian tradition: RC-Roman Catholic P-Protestant O-Orthodox

 

Please visit this link for more religious holidays.

INTERFAITH CALENDAR: Primary sacred times for world religions

2020 DAYS HOLIDAY RELIGION
Aug. 11
Aug. 12
Sundown-Tue
Sundown-Wed
**Sri Krishna Jayanti (date may vary)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines on this day, since it is likely that Hindu students will be operating on very little sleep. Some may fast during the first day.
Hinduism
Sep. 18
Sep. 20
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Rosh Hashanah (first 2 days)
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).
Judaism
Sep. 20
Sep. 21

Sun

Mon

Paryushana-Parva
Religious accommodations:
Jain students and employees may be fasting.
Jainism
Sep. 27
Sep. 28
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
**Yom Kippur
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Jewish students and employees may be fasting all day.
Judaism
Oct. 2
Oct. 4
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Sukkot (1st 2 days)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on the first two days. Eve and first day are non-working for Reform Jews; Eve, first and second days are non-working for Orthodox Jews.
Judaism
Oct. 9
Oct. 11
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Shemini Atzeret
**Simchat Torah

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).
Judaism
Oct. 17
Oct. 26

Sundown-Sat

Sundown-Mon

Navaratri
Note: Some Hindus will pray and fast.
Hinduism
Oct. 18
Oct. 19
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
**Birth of the Báb
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Baha’i employees suspend work on this day and will likely request to have this day off.
Bahá’í
Oct. 28
Oct. 29
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
Mawlid al-Nabi (dates can vary by a day)
Muslim students and employees may be fasting.
Islam
Nov. 6
Nov. 7
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sat
**Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Baha’i employees suspend work on this day and will likely request to have this day off.
Bahá’í
Nov. 14 Sat Diwali (Deepavali)
Religious Accommodation:.
Hindu employees will likely request the day off on this date.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Dec. 10
Dec. 18
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Hanukkah/Chanukah
Recommended Accommodations:
Academics and work permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply—potato pancakes, doughnuts or other fried food is customary).
Judaism
Dec. 24
Dec. 25

Thu

Fri

Christmas
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Christian employees will likely request to have this day off.
Christianity (RC, P, O)
Dec. 26
Jan. 1

Sat

Fri

**Kwanzaa
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. African American employees will likely request to have this day off.
African American
2021 DAYS HOLIDAY RELIGION
Jan. 1 Fri Gantan-sai
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on this date (work holiday)
Shinto
Jan. 7 Thu Feast of the Nativity (Christmas)
Religious accommodations: Many Eastern Orthodox employees will probably request this day off.
Orthodox Christian
Feb. 12 Fri **Chinese New Year
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Chinese employees may request this day off.
Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist
Feb. 17 Wed Ash Wed, Lent begins
(food accommodation as requested)
Christianity (RC, P)
Feb. 25
Feb. 26
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Purim
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).
Judaism
Mar. 1
Mar. 19
Mon
Fri

**‘Alá’ (Loftiness) 19-day fast, sunrise to sunset each day.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the date. Bahá’ís students and employees may be fasting.

Bahá’í
Mar. 15
May 1

Mon

Sat

Great Lent begins/Clean Mon
Note: Students and employees may be fasting.
Orthodox Christian
Mar. 19
Mar. 20
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sat
Naw-Rúz
The Baha’i New Year’s Day coincides with the spring equinox. Naw-Rúz is an ancient Persian festival celebrating the “new day” and for Baha’is it marks the end of the annual 19-Day Fast and is one of the nine holy days of the year when work is suspended and children are exempted from attending school.
Bahá’í
Mar. 27-29
Apr. 2-4
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
**Pesach/Passover (first two and last two days)
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.)
Judaism
Mar. 28
Mar. 29
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
Holi – Festival of Colors (date may vary)
Note: Celebrated over 2 days by people throwing colored powder and colored water.
Hinduism
Mar. 28 Sun Palm Sun
Recommended Accommodations:
Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P, Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 2 Fri Good Fri
Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested. Meat (fish not considered meat) is prohibited during meals for some.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 4 Sun Easter
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 6 Tue Mahavira-Jayanti
Religious accommodation may be requested.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Apr. 8
Apr. 9
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Yom HaSho’ah
Recommended Accommodations:
Academics and work are permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).
Judaism
Apr. 12
May 11
Sundown-Mon
Sundown-Tue
**Ramadan begins
Recommended Accommodations: 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).
Islam
Apr. 20
Apr. 21
Sundown-Tue
Sundown-Wed
Ridván (1st day) of Most Great Festival
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th  day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Baha’is
Apr. 28
Apr. 29
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
Ridván (9th day)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th  day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
Apr. 30 Fri Holy Fri
Recommended Accommodations: Great Fri is a strict day of fasting for many Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States. It is suggested to avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities.
Orthodox Christian
May 1
May 2
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
Ridván (12th day)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th  day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
May 2 Sun Easter/Pascha
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Orthodox Christian
May 12
May 13
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
Eid al-Fitr (date can vary by a day)
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).
Islam
May 16
May 17
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
**Shavuot
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).
Judaism
May 22
May 23
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
Declaration of the Báb
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
May 28
May 29
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sat
Ascension of Baha’u’lláh
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’
July 17
July 18
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
**Tisha B’ Av
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Jewish students and employees may be fasting all day.
Judaism
July 19
July 20

Sundown-Mon

Sundown-Tue

**Eid al-Adha (date can vary by a day)
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). Date details: Lunar calendars vary based on region and practice.
Islam