Religious Calendar

This resource can be used to guide your planning process for scheduling events and exams on campus. This list of holidays is in no way comprehensive or complete, but it does highlight the major days of religious observance.

See more on Religious Accomodation at SFU

Compliation of All Religious Calendars

2021

Religion

Holiday/Observance/Celebration

January 6, 2021 Christianity - Julian

 

Nativity of Jesus on Epiphany as celebrated by the Armenian Orthodox Church.

 

January 7, 2021 Christianity - Julian

 

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised messiah.

 

January 14, 2021 Hindu

 

Makar Sankranti, a harvest festival that marks the increase of the sun twinned with the Punjab celebration Lohri, which marks the passing of the winter solstice.

 

February 16, 2021 Hindu Vasanta Panchami is a North Indian celebration associated with Saraswat and Lakshmi, the Goddess of Learning and the Goddess of Wealth as well as the colour yellow
March 12, 2021 Hindu

 

Maha Shivaratri, “the Great Night of Shiva”, is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world and honors the God Shiva

 

March 14, 2021 Sikh

 

Sikh New Year’s Day marks the first day of the year in the Nanak-shahi Era

 

March 21, 2021 Zoroastrian

 

Norooz, “new day,” is New Year’s Day in the Fasli seasonal calendar celebrating the renewal of the world, the creation of fire and the day Zarathustra received his revelation.

 

March 25, 2021 Jain

 

Mahavira-jayanti celebrates the birth of the Lord Mahavira, “Great Hero”, the 24th and last Tirthankara of his time: a savior who has succeeded in crossing over life’s stream of rebirths and has made a path for others to follow.

 

March 27 - April 4 Judaism

 

Pesah (Passover) commemorates the departure of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Celebrated over 7/8 days, the first two days and the last two are holidays

 

March 29, 2021 Hindu

 

Holi is the Festival of Colours that welcomes in Spring, generally celebrated over two days, with people throwing colourful powder and coloured water on each other.

 

March 29 - 31 Sikh

 

Hola Mohalla — a three-day festival celebrated around the time of the Hindu festival of Holi that incorporates martial arts demonstrations and simulated battles

 

April 2, 2021 Christianity - Gregorian

 

Good Friday commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ and his submission to death by crucifixion.

 

April 4, 2021 Christianity - Gregorian

 

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

 

April 13, 2021 Islam

 

First Day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the month of fasting, self-examination and devotion during which physically able Muslims do not eat or drink from the first sign of dawn until sunset.

 

April 13, 2021 Sikh

 

Vaisakhi commemorates the day in 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Guru, removed the clerical system from Sikhism and affirmed the direct connection between Sikhs and the Divine

 

April 20 - May 2 Baha'i

 

The Festival of Ridván meaning “the King of Festivals” runs for 12 days to commemorate the 12 days Baha’u’llah spent in the garden of Ridván outside Baghdad. The 1st, 9th and 12th days are holy days on which work is suspended.

 

April 30, 2021 Christianity - Julian

 

Holy Friday commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ and his submission to death by crucifixion.

 

May 2, 2021 Christianity - Julian

 

Pascha celebrates the resurrection of Jesus

 

May 16, 2021 Islam

 

Eid al-Fitr is the last day of the month and is “the breaking of the fast” that celebrates the end of Ramadan (observance begins at the sunset of the previous day, but special worship and prayers begin on this day).

 

May 16-18 Judaism

 

Shavuot marks the closing of the seven weeks that follow Pesah and commemorates the giving of the Torah to Moses and the Israelites. It is celebrated over one day in Israel and 2 days by Jews in the Diaspora (outside of Israel).

 

May 23, 2021 Baha'i

 

The Declaration of The Báb commemorates the day in 1844 when The Báb announced He is the Herald of the new age.

 

May 29, 2021 Baha'i

 

Ascension of Báha’u’lláh marks the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

 

June 16, 2021 Sikh

 

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji — the fifth Sikh Guru and the first Sikh Martyr was killed in 1606 by Mughal authorities. His death transformed the Sikhs into saint-soldiers in the fight against oppression

 

July 9, 2021 Baha'i

 

The Martyrdom of The Báb is the memorial of the death of The Báb. On this day work is suspended.

 

July 18, 2021 Judaism

 

Tish’a B’Av, the ninth of the month of Av, is a major fast day that commemorates the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem in ancient times.

 

July 20-23 Islam

 

Eid al-Adha’, at the Festival of Sacrifice, as Abraham offered his son, Ishmael, to God, so Muslims offer goat, sheep and camels and then distribute the meat to the poor. This is the concluding act of pilgrimage (Hajj) but also observed even when not on pilgrimage. (Observance begins at the sunset of the previous day, but special worship and prayers begin on this day.)

 

August 3, 2021 Hindu

 

Sri Krishna Jayanti (Janmashtami) celebrates the birthday of Krishna, the 8th incarnation of the God Vishnu.

 

September 3 - 10 Jain

 

Paryushana-parva is the holiest period of the year for the Shvetambara sect. It includes fasting, worship, and reading the life story of Lord Mahavira from the Kalpasutra. It is celebrated over eight days ending on Samvastsari.

 

Sept 6-8 Judaism

 

Rosh Hashanah, New Year’s Day in the Jewish calendar (5777), anniversary of the creation of the world and the first of the Ten days of Awe.

 

September 10, 2021 Jain

 

Samvastsari, the Day of Forgiveness, is the last day of Paryushana-parva and is observed by fasting, introspection, confession and penance

 

September 16, 2021 Judaism

 

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the year’s holiest day and a day of fasting. Jews ask forgiveness from and forgive others, as to re-establish oneness with God, as well as confessing their sins and asking God for forgiveness.

 

Sept 20 - 27 Judaism

 

Sukkot is a pilgrimage feast and a time of thanksgiving for God’s presence in creation and among the Jewish people.

 

Sept 27 - 29 Judaism

 

Shmini Atzeret, the Eighth Day of Assembly, is a holiday that concludes Sukkoth and marks the beginning of winter in Israel.

 

September 29, 2021 Judaism

 

Simchat Torah, Rejoicing of the Law, celebrates the beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle at the synagogue

 

October 6-14 Hindu

 

Chaitra Navratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Shakti.

 

October 11 - 20 Jain

 

Aymbil Oli is a nine-day festival occurring twice a year, in which Jains revere the Nav-pads, “nine-posts,” the nine supreme posts in the universe. This involves a special type of fasting.

 

October 20, 2021 Baha'i

 

The birth anniversary of The Báb, the Herald of the new age for Bahá’ís.

 

October 20, 2021 Sikh

 

Installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji celebrates Guru Gobind Singhi Ji (the 10th Guru) passing the Guruship to the Holy Scriptures.

 

November 4, 2021 Hindu

 

Diwali is a popular festival known as the Festival of Lights, celebrated continuously for five days. It is associated with a story about the destruction of evil by Lord Vishnu in one of his many manifestations.

 

November 4, 2021 Jain

 

Mahavira Nirvana and Diwali: on this day the 24th Tirthankara attained nirvana and release from the cycle of rebirth.

 

November 4, 2021 Sikh

 

Bandi Chhor Divas commemorated the return of Guru Hargobind Ji (the 6th Guru) to the holy city of Amritsar after negotiating the release of himself and 52 princes held for political reasons.

 

November 12, 2021 Baha'i

 

The anniversary of the birth of Báha’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith.

 

November 19, 2021 Sikh

 

Birth Date of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith, an accomplished poet and the first of the Ten Gurus in 1469 CE

 

November 24, 2021 Sikh

 

Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth of the Ten Gurus, he is remembered for his defense of the Sikh faith, but also for being willing to give up his life for religious liberty of all faiths (1621-1675)

 

December 25, 2021 Christianity - Gregorian

 

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised messiah. More importance is given to this holiday in Western Christianity.

 

December 26, 2021 Zoroastrian

 

Death of Prophet Zarathustra, the founder of the Zoroastrian faith who lived somewhere between ~6000-2000 BCE.