Each year, members of the Northeastern community observe a wide range of sacred seasons and holy days. Below please find a list of dates observed on campus or at places of worship in the Greater Boston area. For information on University Policies on Accommodations for Religious Observance for Students, Faculty and Staff, please visit https://www.northeastern.edu/spirituallife/students/group-guidelines-policies/. For information on on-campus observances, contact the CSDS office at 203 Ell Hall, csds@northeastern.edu, or 617-373-2728; or contact the Spiritual Advisor or student organization from your spiritual, religious, or humanist tradition, found on our website.

  Holiday ’21/’22
Christian Passion of St. John the Baptist – Catholic Christian    

Christian remembrance of the death of John who is known for preparing the people so they would recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Aug 29
Hindu Krishna Janmashtami – Hindu    

Hindu commemoration of the birth of Krishna – the 8th incarnation of the god Vishnu who took the form of Krishna to destroy the evil king Kansa.

Aug 30
Christian Ecclesiastical year begins – Orthodox Christian    

The way a Christian Church arranges a calendar of time and sets dates of special importance.

Sept 1
Jain Paryushana Parva – Jain    

Jain 8 day fesitval signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement. Marked by recitations from Jain sacred writing and family exchange of cards and letters. Celebration of the natural qualities of the soul. The 8th day (Samvatsari) is most important and is forcused on forgiveness.

Sept 3
  Labor Day – Interfaith USA Sept 6
 Jewish Rosh Hashanah – Jewish    

Jewish New Year. Begins at sundown on the 13th. A time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and penitence. The story of Abraham is read, the ram’s horn is sounded, and special foods are prepared and shared.

Sept 6 – 8
Christian Nativity of Mary – Christian    

A Christian celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.

Sept 8
Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi    

Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular Hindu festival celebrated as birth anniversary of Lord Ganesh. On Ganesh Chaturthi, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

Sept 10
Christian Holy Cross Day – Christian    

A Christian day of recognition for the Cross on which Jesus was crucified as a central symbol of the Christian religion.

Sept 14
Jewish Yom Kippur – Jewish    

Begins at sundown on the 22nd. Jewish Day of Atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance.

Sept 16
Jewish Sukkot – Jewish    

Begins at sundown on the 27th. Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the harvest and protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents. Temporary dwelling places have leaves for a roof so the sky can be seen. In temperate climates, night is spent in the Succoth.

Sept 20 – Sept 27
pagan Mabon – Wicca/Pagan    

Wicca observance of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length. A harvest festival time.

Sept 22
Christian Meskel – Ethiopian Orthodox Christian    

Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian commemoration of the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Eleni (St. Helena) in the 4th century a.d.

Sept 27
Jewish Shemini Atzeret – Jewish    

Begins at sundown on the 4th. Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah

Sep 28
Jewish Simchat Torah – Jewish    

Begins at sundown on the 5th. Jewish day to celebrate the reading of the law. Synagogue services involve readings, processions and blessing of the children.

Sep 29
Christian Saint Francis Day – Christian    

Christian recognition of service to people and appreciation of the natural world, as practiced by St. Francis and the Franciscan Monastic Order which he founded.

Oct 4
Hindu Navaratri – Hindu    

Hindu Festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.

Oct 6
Hindu Dasara (Dussehra) – Hindu    

Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.

Oct 15
Islam Mawlid an Nabi – Islam    

Islamic commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, in about 570 c.e. The prophet’s teachings are read and religious meetings are held. Shia and Sunni on separate days. Begins at sundown on the 22nd.

Oct 19
baha'i Birth of the Bab – Baha’i    

Begins at sundown on the 19th. Baha’i honoring of the founder of the Babi religion, forerunner to Baha’u’llah and the Baha’i faith.

Oct 20
sikh Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh    

Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, are honored as perpetual Guru.

Oct 20
Christian Saint George Day – Christian    

Christian remembrance of a person who, in the 4th century, was a martyr and became an ideal of martial valor and selflessness. Legend of killing a dragon is connected with this patron saint of England.

Oct 23
Christian Reformation Day – Protestant Christian    

Protestant Christian anniversary of their tradition and its emphasis on the place of the Bible and religious Freedom. On October 31, 1517 c.e. Martin Luther posted a belief statement on Wittenbeg Church door. The date of public observation is the Sunday before October 31.

Oct 25
Christian Milvain Bridge Day – Christian    

Christian day of solemn reflection on the relationship of the spiritual community and the powers of civil government. On October 28, 312 c.e., Emperor Constantine prevailed in a battle and proceeded to make Christianity the legal religion of the Roman Empire.

Oct 28
Christian All Hallow’s Eve – Christian    

Christian celebration of mystery combining prayers and merriment involving children and families. It is a prelude to All Saint’s Day.

Oct 31
Christian All Saints Day – Christian    

Christian day for honoring saints, known and unknown. In general, saints are persons with a repulation for unusual lives of holiness and devotion to God or who were martyred for their faith. A Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church where saints have special formal status.

Nov 1
pagan Samhain – Beltane – Pagan/Wicca    

Wicca celebration of endings and beginnings and of remembering the dead. Revering of elders is also observed. Begins at sundown on October 31.

Nov 1
Christian All Souls Day – Catholic Christian    

Christian day of prayers of remembrance and intercession for the dead. Prayers of the faithful are seen as helping to cleanse the souls for the beatific vision of God in heaven.

Nov 2
Hindu Diwali – Hindu – Jain – Sikh    

Hindu Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. Gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals.

Nov 4
Jain New Year – Jain Nov 5
  Veterans Day – Interfaith USA Nov 11
baha'i Birth of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i    

Baha’i celebration of the birth of their founder and teacher. Refrain from work. Begins at sundown on November 11.

Nov 12
  Nativity Fast Begins – Orthodox Christian Nov 15
sikh Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday – Sikh    

Sikh honoring of the birth of the first Sikh teacher who lived from 1469 – 1539 c.e. Sacred readings, prayers, hymns, meals together.

Nov 18
Christian Christ the King – Christian    

Christian celebration of the preeminence of Jesus over all earthly authorities.

Nov 22
sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh    

Sikh time of remembering the execution of Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.

Nov 24
  Thanksgiving – Interfaith USA    

Interfaith celebration of the created earth. Celebrated in the USA.

Nov 25
baha'i Day of the Covenant – Baha’i    

Baha’i day of celebration of the covenant given in the last will and testament of Baha’u’llah.

Nov 26
baha'i Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i    

Baha’i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdu’l-Baha to the heavenly dwelling.

Nov 28
Jewish Hanukkah – Judaism    

Jewish festival of lights. It commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165-164 b.c.e. Special readings and praise songs focus on liberty and freedom. The eight candle Menorah is lighted. Begins at sundown on the 6th.

Nov 28 – Dec 6
Christian Advent – Christian    

Christian time of preparation for observing the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30 and is the beginning of the Christian worship year. Advent is observed with the lighting of advent candles, display of wreaths, and special ceremonies. Advent also anticipates the coming again to earth of Jesus Christ. The season continues through December 24.

Nov 29
Christian Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian Nov 30
Christian Saint Nicholas Day – Christian    

Christian celebration of the birth of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving. Many churches are named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Dec 6
 Christian Immaculate – Catholic Christian    

Catholic Christian day of celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was peserved from original sin all of her life. A day of obligation and required church attendance.

Dec 8
buddhist Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist    

Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha.

Dec 8
 Christian Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic Christian    

Catholic Christian honoring of a legendary appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 c.e.

Dec 12
Christian Posadas Navidenas – Christian    

Hispanic Christian feast of the Lodgings commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Dec 16 – 25
Christian Yule – Christian    

A Norse Pagan celebration of the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. A present day Wicca event.

Dec 21
pagan Yule – Wicca/Pagan    

The festival of the winter-solstice

Dec 21
  Nativity Fast Ends – Orthodox Christian Dec 24
Christian Christmas Eve – Christian    

Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It is observed with worship, candlelighting, manager scenes and festive meals.

Dec 24
 Christian Christmas – Christian    

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.

Dec 25
Christian St. Stephen’s Day – Christian    

A day of remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Dec 26
Zoroastrian Zarathosht Diso – Zoroastrian    

Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra.

Dec 26
  Kwanzaa – Interfaith USA    

Seven day spiritual celebration of African-American values and traditions and their continued vitality. “Kwanzaa” is Swahili and means “first fruits of the harvest.”

Dec 26 – Jan 1
 Christian Holy Innocents – Christian    

Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus.

Dec 28
  New Years Day – Interfaith USA Jan 1
Christian Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian    

A celebration of the holiness of Mary as the chosen bearer of Jesus.

Jan 1
sikh Birth of Guru Gobind Singh – Sikh    

Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.

Jan 5
Christian Epiphany – Christian    

End of the 12 days of Christmas; celebrates visit of the three kings to baby Jesus; especially important to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

Jan 6
sikh Maghi – Sikh    

Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh).

Jan 13
baha'i World Religion Day – Baha’i    

In 1950, this day was founded by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States to address the need for religious unity.

Jan 17
  Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Jan 18
Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist Chinese New Year – Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist Feb 12
  St. Valentine’s Day – Christian Catholic – Interfaith USA Feb 14
buddhist Nirvana Day – Buddhist    

Commemorates the death of Buddha

Feb 15
buddhist Parinirvana – Buddhist Feb 15
  President’s Day – Interfaith USA Feb 15
Christian Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins) – Christian    

Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.

Feb 17
baha'i Ayyam-i-Ha – Baha’i    

This period adjusts the Baha’i year to the solar calendar. It leads to the 19 day fast; each day of Ayyam-i-Ha is marked by a different virtue like hospitality, gift giving or charity.

Feb 26 – Mar 1
baha'i Nineteen Day Fast Period – Baha’i    

A fast to be observed by adult Baha’is in good health from sunrise to sundown.

Mar 1 – 19
Christian Clean Monday (Lent Begins) – Orthodox Christian    

Period of preparation for Easter, usually 40 days before. Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the Lenten period.

Mar 15
Christian St. Patrick’s Day – Catholic Christian Mar 17
Jewish Purim – Jewish    

Feast of Lots; celebrates deliverance of Jews of ancient Persians froma plot to destroy them.

Mar 17
sikh Hola Mohalla – Sikh    

A day to commemorate the valor and bravery of the Sikhs. This 3-day festival consists of mock battles, music and poetry reading.

March 18
Islam Lailat al Bara-ah – Islam    

Night of Forgiveness. A night of prayer to Allah for forgiveness of the dead. Preparation for Ramadan through intense prayer.

March 18
baha'i Naw-Ruz – Baha’i    

Baha’i and Iranian New Year

Mar 20
Christian Palm Sunday – Christian    

Celebrates the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem during Passover. Usually reenacted by the waving of palm branches and the singing of songs. This also commemorates the beginning of Holy Week.

Mar 28
Hindu Holi – Hindu    

Spring festival; a carnival occasion featuring bright colors, pilgrimages and bonfires.

Mar 29
Christian Maundy Thursday – Christian    

Also known as Holy Thursday, this day celebrates the institution of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at Jesus’ Last Supper.

April 1
Christian Good Friday – Christian    

The Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.

April 2
Christian Easter – ChristianCelebration of the resurrection of Christ. April 4
Islam Ramadan Begins (US Date) – Islam    

The ninth month in the Islamic calendar; 30 days of strict fasting from sunup to sundown in honor of the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

April 13
Hindu Baisakhi/Vaisakhi – Hindu – Sikh    

Anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa (the army of the Pure Ones) in 1699.

April 14
Jewish Pesach (Passover) – Jewish    

Marks the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt; “Seder” ceremonies emphasize the concept of freedom. We recommend that professors allow Jewish students to observe Passover on April 26th, 2019.

April 15 – 23
baha'i Ridvan – Baha’i    

Commemorates the declaration of Baha’u’llah to his followers in 1863. Work is suspended for the 1st, 9th and 12th day.

April 21 – May 2
Jewish Yom Ha-Sho’ah – Jewish April 28
buddhist Buddha Day (Visakaha Puja, Wesak) – Buddhist    

Celebration of the birth of Buddha in Japan.

May 6
Islam Lailat al-Qadr – Islam    

Night of Destiny. First revelation of Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Observed during the last ten days of Ramadan.

May 8
Islam ‘Id al-Fitr – Islam    

Festival of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan.

May 13
Christian Ascension Day – Christian    

Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.

May 13
Christian Pentecost – Christian    

Fifty days after Easter, this time celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon early Christians following the ascension of Jesus.

May 23
baha'i Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i    

A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah.

May 29
Christian Trinity Sunday – Protestant Christian May 30
  Memorial Day – Interfaith USA May 30
Christian Corpus Christi – Catholic Christian    

This is a feast in honor of the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

June 3
Jewish Shavuot – Jewish    

Festival of Weeks; celebrates harvest of first fruits and commemorates the giving of the Torah and Commandments at Mt’ Sinai.

June 5 – June 6
sikh Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev – Sikh    

Anniversary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev in 1606 C. E., the fifth guru who had built the Golden Temple of Amristar.

June 16
  Juneteenth – Interfaith USA    

Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.

June 19
pagan Summer Solstice – Pagan/Wicca June 20
baha'i Martyrdom of the B’ab – Baha’i    

Anniversary of the martyrdom of the B’ab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, in 1850.

July 9
Honk Pioneer Day – Mormon    

Observance of the arrival of Brigham Young and the early settlers to Salt Lake City, Utah.

July 24