Religious Holiday Calendar

We know that the myriad of identities carried by members of the Florida State community only strengthens our university— enhancing the richness of our collective culture, broadening our understanding, and enhancing our ability to create meaningful connections. We embrace and celebrate the complex identities of each individual, and we know how important it is for all people to have the opportunity to fully practice their own culture and traditions, including their spiritual and faith traditions.

“...we know how important it is for all people to have the opportunity to fully practice their own culture and traditions, including their spiritual and faith traditions.”

As such, members of the Florida State University community should not be penalized for observing religious holy days. Students are encouraged to notify instructors as soon as possible and at least two weeks before a potential absence to observe a religious holy day, and instructors shall make all reasonable accommodations for these students. While students are responsible for work missed during an excused absence, instructors shall provide reasonable time to make up assignments. Full policies on religious holy day accommodations can be found in the Faculty Handbook or the Academic Integrity and Grievance section of the General Bulletin.

In an effort to help the FSU community become more aware of the practices of various faith traditions and avoid unnecessary scheduling conflicts, we have compiled a list of major holidays and observances from a variety of sources. While we list these holidays by the primary date of the observance, it is important to remember that some faith traditions use lunar or other time measurement systems not based on the Gregorian calendar that is accepted as standard in the United States. In some cases, observances of listed holidays begin at sunset on the previous day rather than at the beginning of the date listed. 

This list is not comprehensive, and we continue to amend it in an effort to honor and celebrate the spiritual practices of all members of our community. Please notify us at thecenter@fsu.edu if you have questions or suggestions about a calendar entry. For more resources and connections to the various faith communities present on our campus, we invite you to explore the Interfaith Council at FSU.

 

2020-2021 Religious Holidays

AUGUST
1
LAMMAS (Wicca)
Also referred to as Lughnasadh, this holiday is associated with abundance and growth in recognition of when the first crops of the year are harvested.
3
RASKSHA BANDHAN (Hinduism)
Also abbreviated to Rakhi, this is the Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love. It is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Sravana in the lunar calendar.
12
KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI (Hinduism)
Celebrates the birth of the god Krishna on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August–September).
20
MUHARRAM (Islam)
Muharram means "forbidden," and many Muslims use it as a period of prayer and reflection. It is normal for people in the community to fast during this period.
29
ASHURA (Islam)
The Muslim holy day observed on the 10th of Muḥarram, the first month of the Muslim calendar, is commemorated as the day that Allah parted the Red Sea for Moses (Mūsā) and his followers to escape from the pharaoh.
SEPTEMBER
19-20
ROSH HASHANAH— first two days (Judaism)
Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.
22
MABON (Wicca)
This time is dedicated to reflecting on the year and giving gratitude to the dual nature of divinity, the Lord and the Lady. This date is the second harvest festival.
28
YOM KIPPUR (Judaism)
This Day of Atonement marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, a period of introspection and repentance. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and a special religious service.
OCTOBER  
2-9
SUKKOT (Judaism)
Sukkot commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Sukkot is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or the Feast of Booths.
18
BIRTH OF THE BÁB (Bahá’í)
Celebration of the birth of Báb, a prophet and forerunner of the Bahá’í revelation. The day traditionally consists of prayers, devotional readings and social gatherings in a place of worship or the home. 
19
BIRTH OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH (Bahá’í)
This is a celebration of the founder of the Bahá’í faith. He is recognized and celebrated for his messages of universal peace, humanity coming together as one, and abandonment of prejudice.
20
GURGADI GURU GRANTH SAHIB (Sikhism)
Celebrates the Guru Granth Sahib as the spiritual guide not only for Sikhs, but for all of mankind; it plays a central role in guiding the Sikhs’ way of life.
31
SAMHAIN (Wicca)
This is a time to honor the dead and pay respect to ancestors. 
NOVEMBER
3
MAWLID AL-NABI (Islam)
Observance of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad is the founder of Islam and is believed by Muslims to be the greatest and final prophet of God.
14
DIWALI (Hinduism)
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row ( vail) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.
14
BANDI-CHHOR DIWAS (Sikhism)
When Hindus and others celebrate Divali, the festival of lights, Sikhs remember the release from prison and return to Amritsar of the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind in 1619. The name Bandi Chhor Divas means "liberation of prisoners day."
25
DAY OF THE COVENANT (Bahá’í)
This is a day to honor unity of their faith and all faiths. This is a day to recognize the broader covenant between God and humanity, which calls on each human being to recognize and accept all of the founders of the world’s greatest faiths as bringing different stages in one continuous spiritual educational system for all humanity.
30
GURU NANAK DEV JI’S BIRTHDAY (Sikhism)
This day is important because Guru Nanak Dev Ji founded Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev Ji is considered the first Sikh Guru.
DECEMBER
8
BODHI DAY (Buddhism)
Celebrates the day in which Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment. It is a day on which followers can renew their dedication to Buddhism; reaffirm themselves to enlightenment, compassion, and kindness to other living creatures; and also understand the relevance of this religion as it applies to the modern world.
10-18
CHANUKAH (Judaism)
The Jewish Festival of Lights is an eight-day celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. It is one of the most popular holidays in Judaism and is marked by the lighting of the menorah.
21
YULE (Wicca)
Also known as the Winter Solstice, this is the date in which daytime is shortest and nighttime is longest. It is a time to meditate on the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
24
CHRISTMAS EVE (Christianity)
The evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus.
25
CHRISTMAS (Western Christianity, Mormanism)
The anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of Christanity.
JANUARY  
5
GURU GOBIND SINGH JI’S BIRTHDAY (Sikhism)
Guru Gobind Singh Ji is the tenth Sikh Guru and founder of the Order of the Khalsa. During his life he wrote many poems about love, worship of one god, equality and putting away superstition and idolatry.
7
CHRISTMAS (Eastern Christianity)
The celebration of the Nativity using the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar.
17
WORLD RELIGION DAY (Bahá’í)
This is a day to promote interfaith understanding and harmony
FEBRUARY
15
NIRVANA DAY (Buddhism)
The annual festival that remembers the death of the Buddha when he reached Nirvana at the age of 80. Nirvana is believed to be the end of the cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhism teaches that Nirvana is reached when all want and suffering is gone.
17
ASH WEDNESDAY (Christianity)
The first day of Lent, occurring six and a half weeks before Easter (between February 4 and March 11, depending on the date of Easter). It is commonly observed with ashes and fasting.
25-28
AYYÁM-I-HA [INTERCALARY DAYS] (Bahá’í)
This is a time dedicated to giving generously to the poor and needy and is based on service to one another. It is also time to prepare for the coming month of fasting.
26
PURIM (Judaism)
English Feast of Lots, a joyous Jewish festival commemorating the survival of the Jews who, in the 5th century BCE, were marked for death by their Persian rulers. The story is related in the biblical Book of Esther.
MARCH  
1-19
NINETEEN-DAY FAST (Bahá’í)
This is the 19-day fasting period immediately before the Bahá’í New Year. This is a period of spiritual preparation and regeneration for the new year.
13

BIRTHDAY OF L. RON HUBBARD (Scientology)
L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of the Church of Scientology in 1954.

21
OSTARA (Wicca)
Celebration of the Spring Equinox, a celebration from the season’s change from dark winter to a brightening spring.
28
NOWRÚZ (Zoroastrianism)
A traditional ancient Iranian festival celebrating the first day of spring and the Iranian New Year. Also celebrated as New Year’s Day in Bahá’í tradition (Naw-Ruz). (This date may vary based on region or sect.)
28
MAGHA PUJA DAY (Buddhism)
This day commemorates the spontaneous assembly of 1,250 enlightened Buddhist monks, each ordained personally by the Buddha. This day commemorates the important teachings of the Buddha focused on the Three Jewels of Buddhism, the Buddha, Sangha, and the Dharma.
28
KHORDAD SAL (Zoroastrianism)
This is the celebration of the birth of Zoroaster, the founder of the Zoroastrianism religion. The holiday is celebrated following the Persian new year, Nowrúz.
28-31
PASSOVER (Judaism)
Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, commemorates the story of the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt. This weeklong festival, with several important rituals, includes a traditional Passover meal known as a seder, the removal of leavened products from the home, the substitution of matzo for bread and the retelling of the exodus tale.
28
PALM SUNDAY (Christianity)
Also called Passion Sunday, it is the first day of Holy Week and the Sunday before Easter. It is associated with the blessing and procession of palms (leaves of the date palm or twigs from locally available trees).
29
HOLI (Hinduism)
The spring festival celebrated throughout North India on the full-moon day of Phalguna (February–March).
29
HOLA MOHALLA (Sikhism)
This is a festival started by the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh as a gathering for military exercises following the festival of Holi. Today this three-day festival includes mock battles followed by music and poetry competitions.
APRIL
1-4
PASSOVER (Judaism)
Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is one of the Jewish religion’s most sacred and widely observed holidays. Passover commemorates the story of the Israelites’ departure from ancient Egypt, which appears in the Hebrew Bible’s books of Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, among other texts. Jews observe the weeklong festival with several important rituals, including a traditional Passover meal known as a seder, the removal of leavened products from their home, the substitution of matzo for bread and the retelling of the exodus tale.
1
MAUNDY THURSDAY (Christianity)
Also known as Holy Thursday, it is observed in commemoration of the Last Supper (the final meal shared by Jesus and his disciples in an upper room in Jerusalem).
2
GOOD FRIDAY (Christianity)
The Friday before Easter, the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
4
EASTER (Christianity, Mormanism)
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion.
12-30
RAMADAN (Islam)
Ramadan is a period of introspection, communal prayer (ṣalāt) in the mosque, and reading of the Qurʾān. God forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention.
14
VAISAKHI [also spelled Baisakhi] (Sikhism)
This is the Sikh New Year and celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as Khalsa (community of the initiated).
20-May 1
FESTIVAL OF RIDVÁN (Bahá’í)
Marks Bahá'u'lláh's time in the garden of Ridván in 1863 and his announcement that he was the prophet promised by the Báb.
MAY  
1
BELTANE (Wicca)
A celebration of the peak of spring, the beginning of summer and the fertility of the coming year.
1-11
RAMADAN (Islam)
Ramadan is a period of introspection, communal prayer (ṣalāt) in the mosque, and reading of the Qurʾān. God forgives the past sins of those who observe the holy month with fasting, prayer, and faithful intention.
13
EID AL-FITR (Islam)
Marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
23
DECLARATION OF THE BÁB (Bahá’í)
A commemoration of BÁB, as a Messenger of God, who heralded the coming of the latest Manifestation of God: Baha’u’llah.
26
VESAK DAY (Buddhism)
Commemorates the birth of the Buddha-to-be, Siddhattha Gotama, his Enlightenment at the age of 35 when he became the Buddha, and his final ‘passing’ into Nirvana at the age of 80, no more to be reborn. Buddhist scriptures relate that each of these three significant events occurred on a full moon of the Indian lunar month of Vesakha. (Date may vary each year as it follows the lunar calendar.)
28
ASCENSION OF BAHÁ’U’LLÁH (Bahá’í)
This date commemorates the anniversary of the death of Bahá'u'lláh and his teachings. This is considered a day of rest and is usually observed by reading or chanting from scriptures.
JUNE
22
LITHA (Wicca)
Also known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer or Gathering Day. It is the longest day and shortest night of the year. It is a time to give thanks for warmth. 
JULY
9
MARTYRDOM OF THE BÁB (Bahá’í)
Commemorates the events surrounding the death of the Báb in 1850. On this day, special prayers are read at noon. This is also considered a day of rest in which no one should work.
20
EID AL-ADHA (Islam)
Marks the culmination of the hajj (pilgrimage) rites at Minā, Saudi Arabia, near Mecca but is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world. It is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer at daybreak on its first day. It begins on the 10th of Dhū al-Ḥijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar and continues for an additional three days (though the Muslim use of a lunar calendar means that it may occur during any season of the year)
24
PIONEER DAY (Mormonism)
The celebration of Mormons entering the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 to escape religious persecution.
 

 

This calendar was compiled using a variety of resources, including the Anti-Defamation LeagueEncyclopædia BritannicaBBC ReligionsHistory.

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