Religious Holidays Calendar

Below are many of the religious holidays observed by members of the Washington University in St. Louis community. Please note that individual practices may vary.

Download 2022-2023 Calendar (PDF)

Download 2023-2024 Calendar (PDF)

View WashU’s Religious Holiday Class Absence Policy

Fall 2022

August 8: Ashura (Islam) – Commemoration of martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and when Moses fasted in gratitude for the liberation of the Israelites *Begins at sundown August 7, fasting

Aug. 15th: Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Catholic Christianity) – holy day marking the assumption of Mary’s body and soul into heaven

August 18: Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism) – Commemoration of the birth of Krishna *Fasting

August 23: Paryushana Parva (Jainism) – Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline *Fasting

August 31: Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi (Hinduism) – commemorates the birth of Ganesh

September 26-27: Rosh Hashanah (Judaism) – Jewish New Year and beginning of High Holy Days *Begins at sundown September 25, work restriction starts sundown September 25 and continues through both days

September 26- October 4: Navratri (Hinduism) – Festival of the divine mother in all her forms

September 28: Tzom Gedaliah (Judaism) – Fast of the Seventh Month *Minor fasting

October 5: Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement (Judaism) *Begins sundown October 4, fasting and work restriction start October 4 and continue through October 5

October 5: Dussehra (Hinduism) – Commemoration of the last of the days of judgement *Work restriction

October 10-16: Sukkot (Judaism) – Feast of Tabernacles *Begins at sundown October 9, work restriction starts sundown October 9 and continues through first two days (October 10-11)

October 17: Shemini Atzeret (Judaism) – Eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles *Begins at sundown October 16, work restriction starts sundown October 16 and continues through October 17

October 18: Simchat Torah (Judaism) – Celebration the beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle *Begins at sundown October 17, work restriction begins sundown October 17 and continues through October 18

October 24- 28: Diwali (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism) – Festival of Lights *Work restriction

October 26-27: Twin Holy Days (Bahá’í Faith) – Celebration of the birth of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith *Work restriction

November 1: All Saints’ Day (Christianity) – Honors all saints known and unknown

November 1: Samhain (Wiccan, Pagan) – Festival honoring endings, beginnings, and the dead *Begins sundown on October 31

November 2: All Souls’ Day (Christianity) – Commemoration of the souls of those who have died

Dec. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christianity) – Observes the immaculate conception of Mary by Joachim and Anne

Dec. 12 : Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Christianity) – Celebration of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego in Tepeyac in 1531

December 19 – 26 Hanukkah (Judaism) – Festival of Lights *Begins at sundown December 18

December 25: Christmas (Christianity) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

Spring 2023

January 1: Feast of Mary Mother of God (Catholic Christianity) – Celebration of the motherhood of Mary

January 3: Asara B’Tevet (Judaism) – The Tenth of Tevet *Minor fasting when sun up December

January 7: Christmas (Orthodox Christianity) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

January 10: Bodhi Day (Buddhism) – Celebration of Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment

January 22: Lunar New Year (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism) – Celebration of a start of the new lunar cycle

February 18: Lailat al-Miraj (Islam) – Celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven *Begins at sundown on February 17

Feb 18: Maha Shivrathri (Hinduism) – Festival celebrated in honor of the god Shiva *Fasting

February 22: Ash Wednesday (Christianity) – Beginning of Lent *Fasting

February 27: Clean Monday/Ash Monday (Orthodox Christianity) – Start of Lent for Orthodox Christians

March 2-20: Nineteen Day Fast (Bahá’í Faith) – Fast observed by Bahá’í adults *Fasting

March 6: Ta’anit Esther (Judaism) – Fast of Esther *Minor fasting when sun up

March 6: Magha Puja Day (Buddhism) – Celebration of Lord Buddha’s teaching to an assembly

March 7: Purim (Judaism) – Festival of Lots *Begins sundown March 6

March 7-8: Holi (Hinduism) – Festival of Colors *Fasting

March 22: Nowruz (Zoroastrianism and Bahá’í Faith) – Persian New Year *Begins in the evening of March 21

March 23 – April 20: Ramadan (Islam) – Commemoration of the Prophet Muhammad receiving divine revelation as recorded in the Qur’an *Begins evening of March 22, fasting dawn until dusk or sundown

April 2: Palm Sunday (Christianity) – Celebration of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem

April 2-8: Holy Week (Christianity) – The week of Holy Days before Easter

April 4: Mahavir Jayanti (Jainism) – Celebration of the birth of the founder of Jainism

April 6: Holy Thursday (Christianity) – Commemoration of Jesus’ Last Supper

April 7: Good Friday (Christianity) – Commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus *Fasting

April 5: Ta’anit Bechorot (Judaism) – Fast of the First Born *Fasting

April 6-13: Passover (Judaism) – Festival of Freedom *Begins sundown on April 5, food restrictions all days, work restrictions 4/5 sundown – 4/7 sundown and 4/11 sundown – 4/13 sundown

April 9: Easter (Christianity) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus

April 9: Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christianity) – Celebration of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem

April 9-15: Holy Week (Orthodox Christianity) – The week of Holy Days before Easter

April 13: Holy Thursday (Orthodox Christianity) – Commemoration of Jesus’ Last Supper

April 14: Good Friday (Orthodox Christianity) – Commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus *Fasting

April 14: Vaisakhi (Sikhism) – Celebration of the formation of the religious community of Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh

April 16: Easter (Orthodox Christianity) – Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus

April 21– May 2: Ridvan (Bahá’í Faith) – Commemoration of when the founder of the Bahá’í Faith declared his mission

April 21: Eid al-Fitr (Islam) – Festival that marks the ending of Ramadan *Begins evening of April 20 (Please note: Date may vary based on local practice.)

May 1: Beltane (Wicca, Paganism) – Festival of Light honoring fertility and creation *Begins at sundown April 30

May 18: Ascension (Christianity) – Commemoration of the ascension of Jesus into heaven

May 24: Declaration of the Bab (Bahá’í Faith) – Celebration of Ali Muhammad’s announcement that he was the “gate” to the promised coming of all religions *Work restriction

May 26-27: Shavuot (Judaism) – commemorates the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai *Begins sundown on May 25, work restriction


For more information, contact The Reverend Callista Isabelle,
Director for Religious, Spiritual & Ethical Life: 314-935-5257
Office for Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life