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

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

Fall 2021

August

  • August 19*: Ashura (Muslim) – For Shias, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at Karbala 
  • August 21: Raksha Bhandana (Hindu) – A celebration of harmony. The tying of the rakhi (woven bracelet) signifies a special bond of unity and affection between two individuals.
  • August 22: Ghost Festival (Buddhist) – A day when the living perform rituals to relieve the suffering of the ghosts of those who’ve died, as well as to honor parents and ancestors
  • August 29: Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu) – Birthday of Lord Krishna. An incarnation of the God Vishnu, Krishna represents love and bravery. Krishna reveals His true Self while counseling Prince Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. 

September

  • September 3: Paryushana Parva (Jain) – Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline 
  • September 7-8*: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) – Beginning of the Jewish Year and High Holy Days. (Work is prohibited) 
  • September 10: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu) – Birthday of Lord Ganesha, god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and the remover of obstacles 
  • September 16*: Yom Kippur (Jewish) – Day of Atonement (Fasting and work prohibited) 
  • September 21-27*: Sukkot (Jewish) – The Feast of the Tabernacles and Harvest festival (work is prohibited the first two days) 
  • September 22: Mabon (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates the autumnal equinox through a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth 
  • September 28*: Shemini Atzeret (Jewish) – marks the end of Sukkot (work prohibited) 
  • September 29*: Simchat Torah (Jewish) – Celebrates the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle (work is prohibited)

October

  • October 6-14: Navratri (Hindu) – Festival of 9 nights celebrating the Goddess in her various forms, most typically as Ma Durga 
  • October 15: Dussehra (Hindu) – Celebrates Lord Rama’s triumph over evil King Ravana, also celebrates the conquest by the Goddess Chamundeshwari over demon King Mahishasura 
  • October 19*: Mawlid al-Nabi (Muslim) – Commemorates birthday of prophet Muhammad 
  • October 27: Buddha’s Descent (Buddhist) – Lhabab Duchen is a festival observing the descent of Buddha from heaven to earth 
  • October 31: 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 2-6: Diwali (Hindu, Jain); Bandhi Chhor Divas (Sikh) 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
  • November 6*: Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the birth of the Báb, one of the founders of the Bahá’í Faith. 
  • November 7*: Birth of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith 
  • November 15: Shichi-go-san (Shinto) – Celebrates the growth and well-being of young children 
  • November 19: Birth of Guru Nanak (Sikh) – Celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism and the first of the Sikh Gurus 
  • November 23: Niinamesai (Shinto) – Harvest festival that gives thanks for a good crop yield 
  • November 25*: Day of the Covenant (Bahá’í) – Celebrates the appointment of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant 
  • November 27*: Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Bahá’í) – Commemorates 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 
  • November 29-December 6*: Hanukkah (Jewish) – Festival of Lights commemorating rededication of Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem at time of Maccabean Revolt

December

  • December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic) – Celebrates the solemn belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • December 8: Bodhi Day (Buddhist) Commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma (Shakyamuni), attained enlightenment 
  • December 15: Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā Jayantī - Lord Krishna revealed the Bhagvad Gītā to Prince Arjuna while on the Kurukshetra battlefield. 
  • December 21: 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 death of Zarathustra 

Spring 2022

January

  • January 1: Oshogatsu (Shinto) – Celebration of New Year, commemorated by going to 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) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Orthodox Churches 
  • January 9: Birth of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji (Sikh) – Birthday of tenth and last Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji 
  • January 14: Makara Sankranthi (Hindu) – Celebration of the Sun god 
  • January 17*: Tu B’shevat (Jewish) – New Year of the Trees
  • January 21: Lunar New Year  Chūnjié (Chinese New Year)  Losar (Tibetan New Year) Seolnal (Korean New Year)  Tết Nguyên Đán (Vietnamese New Year)

February

  • February 2: Imbolc (Pagan/Wiccan)- Celebrates the coming of Spring 
  • 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 25-28*: Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá’í) – days of preparation for the Fast, marked by hospitality and charity to poor and sick 
  • February 28: Maha Shivaratri (Hindu) – Celebration of the wedding night of Lord Shiva and his Consort Goddess Parvati

March

  • 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 1-19*: Nineteen Day Fast (Bahá’í) – Sunrise to sunset fast also marked with prayer to reinvigorate soul and bring closer to God (fasting) 
  • March 2: Ash Wednesday (Christian) – Day of fasting that commemorates first day of Lent 
  • March 17*: Purim (Jewish) – Commemorates the story of Esther 
  • March 17-18: Holi (Hindu) – Holiday associated with 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 valour, 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*: Nowruz (Bahá’í, Zoroastrian) - Marks the first day of spring 
  • March 21*: Ostara (Pagan/Wiccan) – Celebrates Spring, also known as the vernal equinox

April

  • April 3-May 1*: Ramadan (Islam) – Month of fasting to commemorate first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad 
  • April 10: Palm Sunday (Christian) – Feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem 
  • April 10: Rama Navami (Hindu) – Celebration of birth of Prince Rama, avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu, to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya
  • 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 birth of Mahavira, the founder of Jainism 
  • April 15: Good Friday (Christian) – Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary 
  • April 16-23*: Passover (Jewish) – Commemorates liberation of Israelites by God from slavery in Egypt and their freedom as a nation under leadership of Moses (work is prohibited on first and last two days) 
  • April 16: Hanuman Jayantï (Hindu) – Celebration of 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 20-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: Yom Ha’shoah (Jewish) – Holocaust Memorial Day

May

  • May 1: Beltane (Wiccan/Pagan) – Honors life and fertility 
  • May 2*: Eid al-Fitr (Islam) – Marks the end of Ramadan, holy month of fasting 
  • May 8: Buddha’s Birthday (Buddhist) – Holiday that commemorates the birth of the Buddha 
  • May 19*: Lag B’Omer (Jewish) – Celebrates anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar (text of Jewish mysticism) 
  • May 24: 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 29: Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í) – Anniversary of death of founder 

June

  • June 5-6*: 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 
  • July 7*: Tisha 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)
  • July 9*: Eid al-Adha (Islam) – Commemorates Ibrahim’s sacrifice of his son to God 
  • July 10: Martyrdom of the Báb (Bahá’í) – date the Báb was executed 
*You can also find information on religious, non-religious, secular, and spiritual diversity on Miami University’s Student Life webpage for the META Collective.