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Major Religious Holy Days 2017-2018 Academic Year

5777-5778 A.M. (Jewish), 5119-5120 H.C. (Hindu), 4715-4716 C.C. (Confucian, Taoist), 2559-2560 B.E. (Buddhist), 1438-1439 A.H. (Islamic), 1396-1397 S.H. (Persian/Solar Islamic)


Date(s)

Holy Day

Faith Tradition/Religion

Notes

Aug. 1

Tisha b'Av

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Aug. 14

Shri Krishna Janmaashtami

Hinduism/Vedism

Sept. 1

Eid Al-Adha

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

Sep. 21

Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

Sep. 21-22

Rosh Hashanah

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Sep. 30

Dusserah (Dushahara)

Hinduism/Vedism

Sep. 30

Yom Kippur

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Oct. 1

Ashura

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

Oct. 5-6

Sukkot (First 2 days of 7 days observance)

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Oct. 12

Sh'mini Atzeret

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Oct. 13

Simchat Torah

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Oct. 19

Diwali (Deepawali)

Hinduism/Vedism, Sikhism

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

Oct 20.

Birth of the Bab

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

Nov. 1

Feast of All Saints (All Saints Day)

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

Attendance at services and avoidance of servile work is obligatory for Catholics

Nov. 2

Feast of All Souls

Roman Catholicism

Nov. 4

Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib

Sikhism

Nov. 12

Birth of Baha'u'llah

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

Dec. 1

Mawlid An-Nabi (Prophet's Birthday)

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon


Dec. 8

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Roman Catholicism

Attendance at services and avoidance of servile work is obligatory

Dec. 13-20

Hanukkah

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Dec. 25

Feast of the Nativity (Christmas)

Roman Catholicism, Protestant & some Orthodox Christianity

For those churches following the Gregorian Calendar

Jan. 7

Christmas

Some Orthodox Christianity

Observed by those churches following the Julian Calendar

Jan 14

Maghi

Sikhism

Jan. 31

Tu Bishvat

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

Feb. 14

Ash Wednesday

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

March 1

Purim

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

March 17

Holla Mohalla

Sikhism

March 21

Naw Ruz, Baha'i New Year

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

March 25

Palm Sunday

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

March 29

Holy Thursday

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

March 30

Good Friday

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

March 31

Holy Saturday Vigil

Roman Catholicism & Protestant Christianity

Begins at sundown

March 31-April 7

Passover (First and last 2 days of 8 days observance)

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

April 1

Easter

Roman Catholicism & Protestantism

April 1

Palm Sunday

Orthodox Christianity

April 8

Easter

Orthodox Christianity

April 8

Vesak Day

Buddhism

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

April 14

Vaisakhi

Sikhism

April 21

First Day of Ridvan

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

April 29

Ninth Day of Ridvan

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

May 2

Twelfth Day of Ridvan

Baha'i Faith

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset

May 16

Ramadan begins (29-30 days of Fasting)

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

May 20

Shavuot

Judaism

Observance begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at one hour after sunset of the last day

June 14

Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Islam

Date may be different, depending on the sighting of the moon

June 16

Guru Arjan Martyrdom

Sikhism

Holy Days in bold type face are considered very important holy days when students/employees may be absent from school or work.

* Observance of Buddhist, Hindu/Vedic and Islamic holy days is dependent on the sighting of the moon. Please note that the dates printed herein may not be the exact dates but the closest approximates. Buddhists observe the new moon and full moon as holy days.
*** Observance of Baha'i holy days begins at sundown of preceding day and ends at sunset of the holy days.
+ Roman Catholic obligatory feasts require attendance at services and avoidance of servile work.
++ Roman Catholic traditional feasts are those days on which it is assumed that the faithful will attend services and may exclude servile work and include various requirements of prayer and fasting.
^ Orthodox churches that follow the Gregorian Calendar.
^^ Orthodox churches that follow the Julian Calendar.

Religious Observances Policy

The above are guidelines for your rights and responsibilities regarding religious observances. The university administration, in reaffirming American University's historic commitment to diversity, makes it clear that religious observance is to be honored. The following paragraph is included in a letter recently sent by the provost to all faculty:

According to university policy, students may receive excused absences from class or exam attendance for observance of religious holidays. Students should not be penalized for excused absences and are required to make-up all work missed as a result of these absences. Students must also inform their professors of their religious obligations in a timely manner. On holy days, please try to avoid scheduling exams or other important events. If you must schedule important class events on these days, please provide proper notification in your syllabi and give students reasonable opportunities to make-up missed work. Students have been instructed to notify faculty in advance if they intend to miss class for a religious commitment.

It is the responsibility of the student to manage the work or study time lost as the result of religious holidays or observances that do not fall within class time or scheduled examination periods.

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If you have any questions about the policy or about religious observance, please contact any of the chaplains listed below:

Rev. Mark Schaefer, University Chaplain
202-885-3336 - schaef@american.edu

Mr. Jason Benkendorf, Hillel Executive Director
202-885-3322 - jasonb@american.edu

Ms. Donna Denize, Baha'i Chaplain
202-537-6478 - donna.denize@cathedral.org

Pandit Vishnu Ramphal, Hindu/Vedic Chaplain
202-885-1912 - visra@american.edu

Rev. Joey Heath, United Methodist Chaplain
202-885-3304 - joeyh@american.edu

Imam Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Muslim Chaplain
301-946-9437 - ahmad@minaret.org

Fr. Carlos Quijano, O.P., Catholic Chaplain
202-885-3294 - priest@american.edu

Bhante Uparatana, Buddhist Chaplain
301-946-9437 - kuparatana@gmail.com

Rev. Blane Young, Chi Alpha Chaplain
202-885-3476 blane@american.edu

Our communities will celebrate over 40 religious holidays during the year