Calendar of Holidays and Religious Observances

Embodying the culturally and spiritually diverse communities of West Chester University, this calendar of “Holidays and Religious Observances” serves as a resource to the campus community and provides information related to holidays, traditional observances, and major days of religious significance.

Faculty and staff may use this information to aid with the development of a class syllabus, planning for examinations, special programs, events and activities, or however it may be helpful. The information is not intended to be an all exhaustive list and may not cover all religious traditions represented in the West Chester community. As we update the calendar annually, every effort is made to ensure the information is as accurate as possible. If the calendar does not include a significant date of your religious or cultural tradition, please contact Mr. Hiram G. Martinez.

ODEI staff utilizes the Interfaith Calendar compiled by the Pew Research Center, Forum for Religions and Public Life, to compile the information on this page.

Major Religious Holidays with Work Restrictions

Several religions prohibit working on certain holidays. To aid staff, faculty and supervisors with scheduling events and activities, a short list of some holidays on which students, staff, or faculty may not be able to work or attend class is provided below. Again, please note the list below is not all exhaustive.

Please try to avoid conflicts in scheduling major meetings, exams and other major events and work with students, faculty and staff to accommodate these observances.

  • *Rosh Hashanah – Jewish
  • *Yom Kippur – Jewish
  • *Eid al Fitr – Muslim
  • *Eid al Adha – Muslim
  • *The Birth of the Bab – Baha'i
  • *The Birth of Baha'u'llah – Baha'i
  • *Mawlid – Muslim
  • *Naw Ruz – Baha'i
  • *NowRuz – Persian, Muslims in Iran, Zoroastrian
  • Christmas – Christian
  • Nativity of Christ – Eastern Orthodox
  • *Passover – Jewish
  • *First Day, 9th Day and 12th Day of Ridvan – Baha'i
  • Good Friday – Christian
  • Easter – Christian
  • Easter – Eastern Orthodox
  • *Shavuot – Jewish
  • *Declaration of the Bab – Baha'i
  • *Ascension of the Baha'u'llah – Baha'i
  • *Martyrdom of the Bab – Baha'i
  • *Ashura – Muslim
  • Vijaya Dashami, also called Dasara – Hindu

Additional Major Holidays

Major holidays that are important cultural or religious celebrations and observances but do not require students or employees to abstain from work are listed below.

  • *Ramadan – Muslim
  • Divali (Deepavali) – Hindu
  • Chinese New Year
  • Holi – Hindu


  1. Many holidays are based on the lunar calendar and so their dates change from year to year on the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, some of the holidays are celebrated approximately around the dates listed (e.g., Islamic holidays).
  2. Dates above listed with an asterix (*) denote holy days that usually start at sundown the night before the date.

Fall 2019

Dates Holiday or Observance Religious Group
August 11 Eid al-Adha Islamic
August 23 to 24 Krishna Janmashtami Hindu
September 29 Navaratri/Durga Puja Hindu
September 29 to October 01 Rosh Hashanah Jewish
October 09 Yom Kippur Jewish
October14 to 20 Sukkot Jewish
October 21 Shemini Atzeret Jewish
October 21 to 22 Simchat Torah Jewish
October 27 Diwali/Kali Puja Hindu
December 25 Christmas Christian

Spring 2020

Dates Holiday or Observance Religious Group
January 07 Christmas Eastern Orthodox Christian
January 25 Chinese New Year Buddhist
February 26 Ash Wednesday Christian
March 10 Purim Jewish
March 1 Holi Hindu
April 09 Pesach/Passover Jewish
April 10 Good Friday Christian
April 17 Holy Friday Eastern Orthodox Christian
April 30 Buddha Day/Visakha Puja Buddhist
April 24 Ramadan Begins and Ends May 22 Islamic
May 30 Shavuot Jewish
April 24 Eid al-FitrEastern Orthodox Christian Islamic

Summer and Fall 2020

Dates Holiday or Observance Religious Group
July 30 Tisha B’Av Jewish
August 12 Eid al-Adha Islamic
August 12 Krishna Janmashtami Hindu
September 18 to 20 Rosh Hashanah Jewish
September 27 to 28 Yom Kippur Jewish
October 02 to 09 Sukkot Jewish
October 9 Shemini Atzeret Jewish
October 26 Navaratri/Durga Puja Hindu
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