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, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 617-373-2728; or contact the Spiritual Advisor or student organization from your spiritual, religious, or humanist tradition, found on our website.
|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.
|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.
|Ecclesiastical year begins – Orthodox Christian
The way a Christian Church arranges a calendar of time and sets dates of special importance.
|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.
|Labor Day – Interfaith USA||Sept 6|
|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|
|Nativity of Mary – Christian
A Christian celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.
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.
|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.
|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.
|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|
|Mabon – Wicca/Pagan
Wicca observance of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length. A harvest festival time.
|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.
|Shemini Atzeret – Jewish
Begins at sundown on the 4th. Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Dasara (Dussehra) – Hindu
Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.
|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.
|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.
|Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh
Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, are honored as perpetual Guru.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|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||New Year – Jain||Nov 5|
|Veterans Day – Interfaith USA||Nov 11|
|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.
|Nativity Fast Begins – Orthodox Christian||Nov 15|
|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.
|Christ the King – Christian
Christian celebration of the preeminence of Jesus over all earthly authorities.
|Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh
Sikh time of remembering the execution of Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.
|Thanksgiving – Interfaith USA
Interfaith celebration of the created earth. Celebrated in the USA.
|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.
|Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’i
Baha’i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdu’l-Baha to the heavenly dwelling.
|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|
|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.
|Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian||Nov 30|
|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.
|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.
|Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist
Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha.
|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.
|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|
|Yule – Christian
A Norse Pagan celebration of the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. A present day Wicca event.
|Yule – Wicca/Pagan
The festival of the winter-solstice
|Nativity Fast Ends – Orthodox Christian||Dec 24|
|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.
|Christmas – Christian
Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.
|St. Stephen’s Day – Christian
A day of remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
|Zarathosht Diso – Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra.
|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|
|Holy Innocents – Christian
Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus.
|New Years Day – Interfaith USA||Jan 1|
|Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian
A celebration of the holiness of Mary as the chosen bearer of Jesus.
|Birth of Guru Gobind Singh – Sikh
Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.
|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.
|Maghi – Sikh
Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh).
|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.
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday||Jan 18|
|Chinese New Year – Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist||Feb 12|
|St. Valentine’s Day – Christian Catholic – Interfaith USA||Feb 14|
|Nirvana Day – Buddhist
Commemorates the death of Buddha
|Parinirvana – Buddhist||Feb 15|
|President’s Day – Interfaith USA||Feb 15|
|Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins) – Christian
Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.
|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|
|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|
|Clean Monday (Lent Begins) – Orthodox Christian
Period of preparation for Easter, usually 40 days before. Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the Lenten period.
|St. Patrick’s Day – Catholic Christian||Mar 17|
|Purim – Jewish
Feast of Lots; celebrates deliverance of Jews of ancient Persians froma plot to destroy them.
|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.
|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.
|Naw-Ruz – Baha’i
Baha’i and Iranian New Year
|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.
|Holi – Hindu
Spring festival; a carnival occasion featuring bright colors, pilgrimages and bonfires.
|Maundy Thursday – Christian
Also known as Holy Thursday, this day celebrates the institution of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at Jesus’ Last Supper.
|Good Friday – Christian
The Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.
|Easter – ChristianCelebration of the resurrection of Christ.||April 4|
|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).
|Baisakhi/Vaisakhi – Hindu – Sikh
Anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa (the army of the Pure Ones) in 1699.
|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|
|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|
|Yom Ha-Sho’ah – Jewish||April 28|
|Buddha Day (Visakaha Puja, Wesak) – Buddhist
Celebration of the birth of Buddha in Japan.
|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.
|‘Id al-Fitr – Islam
Festival of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan.
|Ascension Day – Christian
Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.
|Pentecost – Christian
Fifty days after Easter, this time celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon early Christians following the ascension of Jesus.
|Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i
A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah.
|Trinity Sunday – Protestant Christian||May 30|
|Memorial Day – Interfaith USA||May 30|
|Corpus Christi – Catholic Christian
This is a feast in honor of the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
|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|
|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.
|Juneteenth – Interfaith USA
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.
|Summer Solstice – Pagan/Wicca||June 20|
|Martyrdom of the B’ab – Baha’i
Anniversary of the martyrdom of the B’ab, the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, in 1850.
|Pioneer Day – Mormon
Observance of the arrival of Brigham Young and the early settlers to Salt Lake City, Utah.