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.
|Tisha B’av – Jewish
A day of mourning and repentance in remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
|July 30||July 18||Aug 7|
|Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary – Catholic Christian||Aug 15||Aug 15||Aug 15|
|Dormition of the Theotokos – Orthodox Christian
The Orthodox Christian commemoration of the death and burial of the Virgin Mary.
|Aug 15||Aug 15||Aug 15|
|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||Aug 29||Aug 29|
|Raksha Bandhan – Hindu
Hindu festival honoring the loving ties between brothers and sisters in a family.
|Aug 3||Aug 22||Aug 11|
|Ecclesiastical year begins – Orthodox Christian
The way a Christian Church arranges a calendar of time and sets dates of special importance.
|Sept 1||Sept 1||Sept 1|
|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 11||Aug 30||Sept 18|
|Labor Day – Interfaith USA||Sept 7||Sept 6||Sept 5|
|Nativity of Mary – Christian
A Christian celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.
|Sept 8||Sept 8||Sept 8|
|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||Sept 14||Sept 14|
|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 18 – 20||Sept 6 – 8||Sept 26 – 27|
|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.
|Aug 16||Sept 3||Aug 23|
|Waqf al Arafa – Hajj – Islam
Begins at sundown on the 21st. Islamic observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy.
|July 30||July 19||July 9|
|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 28||Sept 16||Oct 5|
|Mabon – Wicca/Pagan
Wicca observance of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length. A harvest festival time.
|Sept 22||Sept 22||Sept 22|
|Eid al Adha – Sacrifice Day – Islam
Begins at sundown on the 22nd. Islamic Fesitval of Sacrifice. The day after Arafat, the most important day in the Hajj ritual. A three-day festival recalling Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.
|July 31||July 20||July 20|
|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 28||Sept 27||Sept 27|
|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.
|Oct 2 – 9||Sept 20 – Sept 27||Oct 10 – Oct 11|
|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||Oct 4||Oct 4|
|Shemini Atzeret – Jewish
Begins at sundown on the 4th. Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah
|Oct 9||Oct 27||Oct 17|
|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.
|Oct 10||Oct 28||Oct 18|
|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 17||Oct 6||Sept 26|
|Hijra – New Year – Islam
Begins at sundown on the 13th. The emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 615 c.e.
|Aug 21||Aug 10||July 30|
|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||Oct 20||Oct 20|
|Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh
Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, are honored as perpetual Guru.
|Oct 20||Oct 20||Oct 20|
|Dasara (Dussehra) – Hindu
Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.
|Oct 25||Oct 15||Oct 5|
|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||Oct 23||Oct 23|
|Ashura – Islam
An Islamic optional one day fast. The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s Grandson, Hussein, martyred on this date in 683/684 AD at the battle of Kerbala. Sunni observance is a recognition of Moses fasting in gratitude to Allah/God for liberation from oppression.
|Aug 28||Aug 18||Aug 7|
|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||Oct 25||Oct 25|
|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||Oct 28||Oct 28|
|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||Oct 31||Oct 31|
|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||Nov 1||Nov 1|
|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||Nov 1||Nov 1|
|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||Nov 2||Nov 2|
|Veterans Day – Interfaith USA||Nov 11||Nov 11||Nov 11|
|Diwali – Hindu – Jain – Sikh
Hindu Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. Gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals.
|Nov 14||Nov 4||Oct 24|
|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||Nov 12||Nov 12|
|Nativity Fast Begins – Orthodox Christian||Nov 15||Nov 15||Nov 15|
|New Year – Jain||Nov 15||Nov 5||Oct 25|
|Christ the King – Christian
Christian celebration of the preeminence of Jesus over all earthly authorities.
|Nov 22||Nov 22||Nov 22|
|Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh
Sikh time of remembering the execution of Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.
|Nov 24||Nov 24||Nov 24|
|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 30||Nov 18||Nov 7|
|Thanksgiving – Interfaith USA
Interfaith celebration of the created earth. Celebrated in the USA.
|Nov 26||Nov 25||Nov 24|
|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||Nov 26||Nov 26|
|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||Nov 28||Nov 28|
|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||Nov 29||Nov 29|
|Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian||Nov 30||Nov 30||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.
|Dec 6||Dec 6||Dec 6|
|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.
|Dec 10 – Dec 18||Nov 28 – Dec 6||Dec 18 – 26|
|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||Dec 8||Dec 8|
|Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) – Buddhist
Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha.
|Dec 8||Dec 8||Dec 8|
|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||Dec 12||Dec 12|
|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||Dec 16 – 25||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.
|Dec 21||Dec 21||Dec 21|
|Yule – Wicca/Pagan
The festival of the winter-solstice
|Dec 21||Dec 21||Dec 21|
|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 29||Oct 19||Oct 8|
|Nativity Fast Ends – Orthodox Christian||Dec 24||Dec 24||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.
|Dec 24||Dec 24||Dec 24|
|Christmas – Christian
Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.
|Dec 25||Dec 25||Dec 25|
|St. Stephen’s Day – Christian
A day of remembrance of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
|Dec 26||Dec 26||Dec 26|
|Zarathosht Diso – Zoroastrian
Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra.
|Dec 26||Dec 26||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||Dec 26 – Jan 1||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.
|Dec 28||Dec 28||Dec 28|
|New Years Day – Interfaith USA||Jan 1||Jan 1||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.
|Jan 1||Jan 1||Jan 1|
|Birth of Guru Gobind Singh – Sikh
Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.
|Jan 5||Jan 5||Jan 5|
|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||Jan 6||Jan 6|
|Maghi – Sikh
Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh).
|Jan 13||Jan 13||Jan 13|
|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 19||Jan 17||Jan 16|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday||Jan 20||Jan 18||Jan 17|
|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 2||Mar 15||Mar 7|
|Chinese New Year – Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist||Jan 25||Feb 12||Feb 1|
|Ash Wednesday (Lent Begins) – Christian
Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.
|Feb 26||Feb 17||Mar 2|
|St. Valentine’s Day – Christian Catholic – Interfaith USA||Feb 14||Feb 14||Feb 14|
|Nirvana Day – Buddhist
Commemorates the death of Buddha
|Feb 15||Feb 15||Feb 15|
|Parinirvana – Buddhist||Feb 15||Feb 15||Feb 15|
|President’s Day – Interfaith USA||Feb 15||Feb 15||Feb 15|
|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||Feb 26 – Mar 1||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||Mar 1 – 19||Mar 1 – 19|
|St. Patrick’s Day – Catholic Christian||Mar 17||Mar 17||Mar 17|
|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.
|April 5||Mar 28||April 10|
|Naw-Ruz – Baha’i
Baha’i and Iranian New Year
|Mar 20||Mar 20||Mar 20|
|Holi – Hindu
Spring festival; a carnival occasion featuring bright colors, pilgrimages and bonfires.
|Mar 9||Mar 29||Mar 18|
|Purim – Jewish
Feast of Lots; celebrates deliverance of Jews of ancient Persians froma plot to destroy them.
|Mar 9||Feb 25||Mar 16|
|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.
|Maundy Thursday – Christian
Also known as Holy Thursday, this day celebrates the institution of the Eucharist (or Holy Communion) at Jesus’ Last Supper.
|April 9||April 1||April 14|
|Good Friday – Christian
The Friday of Jesus’ crucifixion.
|April 10||April 2||April 15|
|Easter – ChristianCelebration of the resurrection of Christ.||April 12||April 4||April 17|
|Baisakhi/Vaisakhi – Hindu – Sikh
Anniversary of the creation of the Khalsa (the army of the Pure Ones) in 1699.
|April 14||April 14||April 14|
|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 8 – 16||Mar 27 – April 4||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||April 21 – May 2||April 21 – May 2|
|Ascension Day – Christian
Celebrates Jesus’ ascent into heaven.
|May 21||May 13||May 26|
|Yom Ha-Sho’ah – Jewish||April 20||April 7||April 27|
|Buddha Day (Visakaha Puja, Wesak) – Buddhist
Celebration of the birth of Buddha in Japan.
|Pentecost – Christian
Fifty days after Easter, this time celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon early Christians following the ascension of Jesus.
|May 31||May 23||June 5|
|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.
|Trinity Sunday – Protestant Christian||June 7||May 30||June 12|
|Corpus Christi – Catholic Christian
This is a feast in honor of the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
|June 11||June 3||June 16|
|Ascension of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i
A commemoration of the death of Baha’u’llah.
|May 29||May 29||May 29|
|Memorial Day – Interfaith USA||May 25||May 30||May 29|
|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 24||April 13||April 3|
|Shavuot – Jewish
Festival of Weeks; celebrates harvest of first fruits and commemorates the giving of the Torah and Commandments at Mt’ Sinai.
|May 29||May 17||June 5|
|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||June 16||Jun 16|
|Juneteenth – Interfaith USA
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery.
|June 19||June 19||June 19|
|Summer Solstice – Pagan/Wicca||June 20||June 20||June 21|
|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 19||May 8||April 28|
|‘Id al-Fitr – Islam
Festival of the breaking of the fast of Ramadan.
|May 24||May 13||May 3|
|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||July 9||July 9|
|Pioneer Day – Mormon
Observance of the arrival of Brigham Young and the early settlers to Salt Lake City, Utah.
|July 24||July 24||July 24|