Religious Observances and Inclusive Scheduling

Below are many of the religious holidays and holy days observed by members of the Miami University community.

This narrative calendar is meant to complement the Academic Affairs calendar by providing guidance to help avoid scheduling important events, activities, and deadlines on holidays observed by members of the Miami community. This is not an exhaustive list. If you would like to suggest additions or edits please send your suggestions to vpdiversity@MiamiOH.edu

You can also find information on religious, non-religious, secular, and spiritual diversity on Miami University’s Student Life webpage for the META Collective.

“*” denotes holidays that start sundown the day before. Please note that individual practices may vary.

January

  • January 1: Oshogatsu (Shinto) – Celebration of New Year, commemorated by going to the shrine, thanking the kami (spirits), asking for good fortune, and letting resolutions known in presence of kami. 
  • January 6: Epiphany (Christian) – Feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. 
  • January 7: Christmas (Orthodox Christian/Rastafarian) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Orthodox Churches.
  • January 9: Birth of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji (Sikh) – Birthday of the tenth and last Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji.
  • January 10: Bodhi Day (Buddhist) - Commemorates the day that the historical figure Siddhartha Gautama experienced enlightenment. 
  • January 13: Vaikunta Ekadashi (Hindu) - Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is believed that on this day, the gate of heaven opens (fasting).
  • January 14: Makara Sankranthi (Hindu) – Celebration of the Sun god.
  • January 16-17*: Tu B’shevat (Jewish) – New Year of the Trees.
  • January 28-29, 2022: Myaamia Winter Gathering — A Myaamia winter-time gathering designed to bring Myaamia people together from across the country, with a special focus on aalhsoohkaana 'winter stories' and kiiwahtekaataawi koteenki 'stomp dance'.  

February

  • February 1: Lunar New Year Chūnjié (Chinese New Year) Seolnal (Korean New Year) Têt Nguyên Ðán (Vietnamese New Year).
  • February 1-2: Imbolc (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates the coming of Spring.
  • February 4, 2022: Myaamia Lunar New Year The Myaamia Lunar New Year, based on the lunar cycle, occurs about the same time every year, but it is not a set date like January 1 is on the Gregorian calendar.
  • February 5: Vasant Panchami (Hindu) – Holy day dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, patron Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science, and technology. 
  • February 12: Darwin Day (Atheist/Secular) – Darwin Day is a celebration to commemorate the birthday of Charles Darwin on 12 February 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin's contributions to science and to promote science in general. Darwin Day is celebrated around the world by Atheists.
  • February 15: Buddha’s Passing (Buddhist) – Mahayana festival commemorating the death of the Buddha at the age of 80 and his attainment of parinirvana.
  • February 16: Sangha Day (Buddhist) – Celebration in honor of the Buddhist community, especially regarding monastics. 
  • February 25-1*: Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í) – days of preparation for the Fast, marked by hospitality and charity to poor and sick. 

March

  • March 1: Maha Shivaratri (Hindu) - Celebration of the wedding night of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
  • March 1*: Lailat al Miraj (Islam) – Commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray 5 times daily.
  • March 2-20*: Nineteen Day Fast (Bahá'í) - Sunrise to sunset fast also marked with prayer to reinvigorate the soul and bring practitioners closer to God (fasting). 
  • March 2: Ash Wednesday (Christian) – Day of fasting that commemorates first day of Lent.
  • March 3-5Losar (Tibetan New Year).
  • March 4: Ramakrishna (Hindu) - Honoring the birth of Ramakrishna, a Hindu mystic and saint.
  • March 7: Clean Monday (Eastern Orthodox) - Signifying the first day of Lent.
  • March 16-17*: Purim (Jewish) – Commemorates the story of Esther. 
  • March 17-18: Holi (Hindu) – Holiday associated with the exuberant flinging of colored powders, celebrates the advent of spring and the enduring message that good will always be victorious over evil; light will always overcome darkness.
  • Holla Mohalla (Sikh) – Festival that coincides with Holi, celebrates siblinghood, fraternity, and valor, Hola Mohalla was started by the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in the 17th century and is celebrated with Sikh martial arts (Gatka).
  • March 20-21*: Norouz/Norooz/Naw-Ruz (Bahá’í, Zoroastrian) - Marks the first day of spring. 
  • March 20*: Ostara (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates Spring, also known as the vernal equinox.
  • March 26: Khordad Sal (Zoroastrian)- Celebrates the birth of Zoroaster.
  • March 30: Magha Puja Day (Buddhism)- Honors the Three Jewels of Buddhism.

April

  • April 2-May 2*: Ramadan (Hindu/Islam) – Month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad. 
  • April 10: Rama Navami (Hindu) – Celebration of the birth of Prince Rama, an avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu, to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya.
  • April 10: Palm Sunday (Christian)- Celebrates Jesus entering Jerusalem.
  • April 14: Baisakhi/Birthday of the Khalsa (Sikh) - Celebrating the New Year and the founding of Sikhism in 1699.
  • April 14: Holy Thursday (Christian) – Commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. Washing of feet is a traditional component. 
  • April 14: Vaisakhi (Sikh) – Marks the establishment of the Khalsa (religious community of Sikhs) by Guru Gobind Singh. 
  • April 14: Mahavir Jayanthi (Jain) – Celebrates the birth of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. 
  • April 15: Good Friday (Christian) – Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
  • April 15: Memorial of Jesus' Death (Jehovah's Witness) - Commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. 
  • April 15-23*: Passover (Jewish) – Commemorates liberation of Israelites by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under the leadership of Moses (work is prohibited on first and last two days). 
  • April 16: Hanuman Jayantï (Hindu) – Celebration of the birthday of Hanuman, foremost devotee of Sri Rama and Sita. 
  • April 17: Easter (Christian) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
  • April 19-May 1*: Ridván (Bahá’í) – Twelve-day festival when founder Bahá’u’lláh declared his mission.
  • April 24: Pascha (Orthodox Christianity) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 
  • April 27-28: Yom Ha’shoah (Jewish) – Holocaust Memorial Day.
  • April 29: Laylat Al Qadr (Islam) - Commemorating the Quran first being revealed to Muhammed.
  • April 29: Ninth Day of Ridvan (Bahá'í) - Commemorates the beginning of the Bahá'í in 1863.

May

  • May 1: Beltane (Wiccan/Pagan) – Honors life and fertility. 
  • May 2-3*: Eid al-Fitr (Islam) – Marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. 
  • May 6: Visakha Puja (Buddhist) – Commemorates the Buddha's birth, attainment of Enlightenment, and death.
  • May 18-19*: Lag B’Omer (Jewish) – Celebrates anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar (text of Jewish mysticism) 
  • May 23: Declaration of the Báb (Bahá’í) – Commemorates declaration of the Báb, the forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. 
  • May 26: Ascension Day (Christian) – Celebrates the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God. 
  • May 28-29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) – Anniversary of the death of one of the founders. 

June

  • June 4-6*: Shavuot (Jewish) – Festival commemorating giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (work restrictions). 
  • June 5: Pentecost (Christian) – Celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension. 
  • June 16: Guru Arjan Martyrdom (Sikh) - Commemorates the death of Guru Arjan after being tortured for five days by the Mughal government.
  • June 21-22: Summer Solstice (Wicca/Neo-Pagan) - Celebrates the midsummer and the power of the sun god. 
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July

  • July 9-10*: Eid al Adha (Islam) - Signifies the final day of Ramadan and the end of the fasting period. (Work is prohibited).
  • July 9: Martyrdom of the Báb (Bahá'í) - the date the Báb was executed
  • July 11: Feast of St. Benedict (Catholicism) - celebrates the life and contribution of St. Benedict. The holiday is also celebrated on March 21. 
  • July 23: Birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie (Rastafarian) - Commemorates the implementation of Ethiopia's first constitution.
  • July 25: St. James the Great Day (Christian) - Celebrates the life and service of St. James.

August

  • August 1: Lughnasadh (Lammas) (Wicca/Neo-Pagan) - A harvest festival.
  • August 5-6*: Tish B'Av (Jewish) - Day of mourning to commemorate many tragedies that have befallen Jewish people, many occurring on the ninth of Av (fasting and work restrictions).
  • August 7-8*: Ashura (Muslim) - For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala.
  • August 11: Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) - A celebration of harmony. The typing of rakhi (woven bracelets) signifies a special bond of unity and affection between two individuals.
  • August 12: Ghost Festival (Buddhist) - A day when the living perform rituals to relieve the suffering of the ghost of those who've died, as well as to honor parents and ancestors.
  • August 13-15: Obon (Buddhist/Shinto) - Commemorates one's ancestors returning to this world to visit their relatives.
  • August 18-19*: Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu) - celebrates the birth of Krishna. An incarnation of the God Vishnu, Krishna represents love and bravery.
  • August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu) - Birthday of Lord Ganesha, god of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune, and the remover of obstacles. 

September

  • September 1: Paryushana Parva (Jain) – Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline.
  • September 21-29: Mabon (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates the autumnal equinox through a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth. 
  • September 25-27*: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)- Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. (Work is prohibited).
  • September 26-October 5: Navratri (Hindu) - Festival of 9 nights celebrating the Goddess in her various forms, most typically as Ma Durga.

October

  • October 4-5*: Yom Kippur (Jewish) - Day of Atonement (Fasting and work prohibited).
  • October 5: Dussehra (Hindu) - Celebrates Lord Rama's triumph over evil King Ravana, also celebrates the conquest by the Goddess Chamundeshwari over demon King Mahishasura.
  • October 7-8*: Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim) - Commemorates the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.
  • October 9-16*: Sukkot (Jewish) - The Feast of the Tabernacles and Harvest festival (work is prohibited the first two days).
  • October 11: Myaamia Removal Day of Remembrance (Oxford, OH)- During the forced removal of the Myaamia people from their homelands, which began in Peru, IN on October 6, 1846, Myaamia people passed just east of Oxford and Miami University on October 10 and 11, 1846 on the Miami and Erie Canal, the closest they would come to the University chartered with their name 37 years earlier.
  • October 16-18*: Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah (Jewish) - Marks the end of Sukkot and celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle (work is prohibited). 
  • October 24: Diwali/Deepavali (Hindu, Jain); Bandhi Chhor Divas (Sikh), Buddhist) - Known as the "Festival of Lights;" ("Day of Liberation") is a Sikh celebration that commemorates the day the sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind was released from Gwalior Fort and was able to secure the release of 52 kings. 
  • October 25-26*: Birth of the Báb (Bahá'í)- Celebrates the birth of the Báb, one of the founders of the Bahá'í faith.  
  • October 26-27*: Bith of Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá'í)- Celebrates the birth of Bahá'u'lláh, one of the founders of the Bahá'í faith. 
  • October 31-November 1: Samhain (Pagan/Wiccan) – Festival honoring endings, beginnings, and the dead. 
  • October 31: Reformation Day (Protestant Christianity) – Celebration in remembrance of the onset of the Reformation.

November

  • November 1: All Saint’s Day (Christianity) – Honors all the saints known and unknown. 
  • November 2: All Soul’s Day (Christianity) – Day of prayer for the dead, particularly but not exclusively one’s relatives. 
  • November 8*: Gurpurab (Sikh) - Commemorating the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib, the tenth Sikh Guru, known as the Father of Khalsa. 
  • November 9: Birth of Guru Nanak (Sikh)- Celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Sikh Gurus.
  • November 15: Shichi-go-san (Shinto) – Celebrates the growth and well-being of young children. 
  • November 15: Lhabab Duchen (Buddhist) - A festival observing the descent of Buddha from heaven to Earth. 
  • November 23: Niinamesai (Shinto) – Harvest festival that gives thanks for a good crop yield.
  • November 26*: Day of the Covenant (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant.
  • November 28-29*: Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Bahá’í) – Commemorates the death of Abbas Effendi, known as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in 1921. 
  • November 28: First Sunday of Advent (Christian) – Season of expectant waiting and preparation of the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.
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December

  • December 3: Srīmad Bhagavad Gītā Jayantī (Hindu) - Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagavad Gītā to Prince Arjuna while on the Kurukshetra battlefield. 
  • December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) – Celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • December 18-26*: Hanukkah (Jewish)- Festival of Lights commemorating the rededication of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt.
  • December 21-January 1: Yule (Pagan/Wiccan) – Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, time to meditate on cycle of life, death, and rebirth. 
  • December 25: Christmas (Christian) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. 
  • December 26: Zarathosht Diso (Zoroastrian) – Commemorates the death of Zarathustra.
  • December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa Celebration of African-American culture culminating in a communal feast called Karamu. 

  • If you notice any errors on this page, please email vpdiversity@MiamiOH.edu.