Our communities will celebrate over 60 religious holidays during the year
Office Hours: During the school year: Monday-Friday 9 AM to 9 PM Summer: Monday-Friday 9 AM to 5 PM
5778-5779 A.M. (Jewish), 5120-5121 H.C. (Hindu), 4716-4717 C.C. (Confucian, Taoist), 2560-2561 B.E. (Buddhist), 1439-1440 A.H. (Islamic), 1397-1398 S.H. (Persian/Solar Islamic)
Please note: this list includes only the holy days of those traditions listed below. Religious holy days from traditions not listed here may require accommodation. Listed holy days requiring accommodation are marked with a check mark (✔). Dates marked with an asterisk (*) begin their observances at sundown of the preceding day. Jewish holy days end one hour after sunset of the concluding day. Islamic and Buddhist holy days may vary depending on the sighting of the moon.
|*21||Eid al-Adha||Islam||✔ Yes|
|September||3||Sri Krishna Jayanti||Hinduism||✔ Yes|
|*10–11||Rosh Hashanah||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|*11||Al Hijra (New Year)||Islam||No|
|*19||Yom Kippur||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|*23–24||1st & 2nd Days of Sukkot||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|October||*1||Shmini Atzeret||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|*2||Simchat Torah||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|20||Inst. of Sri Guru Granth
|November||1||Feast of All Saints||Christianity||✔ Yes (Catholic)|
|2||Feast of All Souls||Christianity||No|
|7||Bandi Chhor Divas||Sikhism||✔ Yes|
|9||Birth of the Bab||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|10||Birth of the Bahá’u’lláh||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|23||Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji||Sikhism||✔ Yes|
|24||Martyrdom of Guru Tegh
|8||Feast of the Immaculate
|Christianity||✔ Yes (Catholic)|
|26||Death of Prophet
|6||Armenian Christmas||Christianity||✔ Yes (Armenian)|
|7||Christmas||Christianity||✔ Yes (E. Orthodox)|
|21||Mahayana New Year||Buddhism||✔ Yes|
|February||5||Chinese New Year||Buddism||✔ Yes|
|8||Nirvana Day||Buddhism||✔ Yes|
|March||6||Ash Wednesday||Christianity||✔ Yes (for services)|
|14||Palm Sunday||Christianity (W)||✔ Yes|
|18||Holy Thursday||Christianity (W)||No|
|19||Good Friday||Christianity (W)||✔ Yes (for services)|
|19–21||Therevada New Year||Buddhism||✔ Yes|
|*20–21||First Two Days of Passover||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|21||First Day of Ridvan||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|21||Easter||Christianity (W)||✔ Yes|
|21||Palm Sunday||Christianity (E)||✔ Yes|
|26||Holy Friday||Christianity (E)||✔ Yes|
|*27–28||Last Two Days of Passover||Judaism||✔ Yes|
|28||Pascha (Orthodox Easter)||Christianity (E)||✔ Yes|
|29||Ninth Day of Ridvan||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|May||2||Twelfth Day of Ridvan||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|*6||Beginning of Ramadan||Islam||No|
|23||Declaration of the Bab||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|29||Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|*4–6||Eid al-Fitr||Islam||✔ Yes|
|July||9||Martyrdom of the Bab||Bahá’í||✔ Yes|
|13–15||Obon (Ulambana)||Buddhism||✔ Yes|
Holy Days marked as requiring accommodation are 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.
- Some Orthodox churches follow the Gregorian Calendar (W) and others the Julian Calendar (E).
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.
If you need to make a request for a religious accommodation, you can do so through our online form.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Jason Benkendorf, Hillel Executive Director
202-885-3322 - email@example.com
Ms. Donna Denize, Baha'i Chaplain
202-537-6478 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pandit Vishnu Ramphal, Hindu/Vedic Chaplain
202-885-1912 - email@example.com
Rev. Joey Heath, United Methodist Chaplain
202-885-3304 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Imam Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Muslim Chaplain
301-946-9437 - email@example.com
Fr. Carlos Quijano, O.P., Catholic Chaplain
202-885-3294 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bhante Uparatana, Buddhist Chaplain
301-946-9437 - email@example.com
Rev. Blane Young, Chi Alpha Chaplain