High Holy Days and Religious Observances

Religious Observances and Holidays for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life has produced this calendar so that our scheduling of activities can be more sensitive to the religious needs of students, alumnae, faculty members and administrators.


Observances and Holidays with work, food restrictions and/or special worship obligations.  The following list includes those religious observances and holidays that involve food or work restrictions, or special worship obligations which affect the ability of members of the community to participate in college events.  All of the following days include special worship obligations.  Work and food restrictions are noted. A notation of a work restriction indicates that the religious obligations of some observant members of this tradition may restrict work for all or part of this day.  Although not all of these religious observances and holy days involve work and food restrictions, they nevertheless are an important part of the lives of observant members of these faith traditions.  Please refer to our website for more details:  www.wellesley.edu/RelLife/calendar/index.html


Please note that the Islamic Calendar is lunar -- dates are flexible and change depending on the location of the moon.



August 2017        
Monday 14 Krishna Janmashtami Hindu Special Worship
Friday to Tuesday 25- 9/5/17 Ganesh Chaturthi Hindu Special Worship
Thursday 31 The Day of Arafat Islam Food Restriction
September 2017        
Friday 1-3 Eid-ul-Adha Islam Special Worship
Friday 22 Mabon Pagan Special Worship
Wednesday (sundown) to Friday 20 - 22 Rosh Hashanah  Judaism  Work Restriction
Thursday - Friday  21 - 29 Navratri (9 Days) Hinduism Special Worship
Sunday 24 Fast of Gedaliah Judaism  Food Restriction
Friday (sundown) to Saturday 29 - 30 Yom Kippur Judaism  Work/Food Restriction
Saturday 30 Dussehra Hinduism Work Restriction
Monday (sundown) to Tuesday 30 Ashura Islam Food Restriction
October 2017        
Wednesday (sundown) to Friday 5 - 11 Sukkot Judiasm Work Restriction/Special Worship
Saturday to Wednesday 7 - 11 Sukkot Judaism Special Worship
Wednesday (sundown) to Friday 11 - 13 Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah Judaism Work Restriction
Thursday 19 Diwali  Sikh/Hinduism/Jain Special Worship
Friday (sundown) to Saturday 21-22 Birth of Baha’u’llah Bahá’í Work Restriction
Saturday (sundown) to Sunday 22 - 23 Birth of the Báb Bahá’í Work Restriction
Tuesday 31 Samhain Pagan Special Worship
November 2017        
Wednesday 1 All Saints’ Day Catholic/Unitarian Universalist Special Worship
Thursday 2 All Souls' Day Christian/Unitarian Universalist Special Worship
Saturday 4 Guru Nanak’s Birthday Sikh Special Worship
Sunday 12 Birth of Bahá’u’lláh Bahá’í Work Restriction
Thursday 30 Birth of Muhammad, Mawlid-an-Nabi Islam Special Worship
December 2017        
Sunday 3 First Sunday of Advent Christian Special Worship
Friday 8 Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic  Special Worship
Friday 8 Bodhi Day  Buddhism Special Worship
Tuesday 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic  Special Worship
Tuesday (sundown) to Wednesday 12 - 20 Hanukkah Judaism Special Worship
Thursday 21 Yule  Pagan Special Worship
Saturday 23 Joseph Smith’s Birthday CJCLDS (Mormon) Special Worship
Monday 25 Christmas Christian / Unitarian Universalist Special Worship
Tuesday-Monday 26 - Jan.1 Kwanzaa  African Heritage Special Worship
Thursday 28 Fast of the 10th of Tevet Judaism Food Restriction
January 2018        
Monday 1 Solemnity of Mary Roman Catholic  Special Worship
Saturday 6 Epiphany Christian Special Worship
Sunday 7 Nativity of Jesus Christ Orthodox/Christian (Julian) Special Worship
Sunday to Wed 14 - 17 Pongal Hindu Special Worship
Wednesday 31 Tu B’Shvat Judaism Special Worship
February 2018        
Friday 1 Imbolc Pagan Special Worship
Tuesday 13 Shivaratri Hinduism Special Worship
Wednesday 14 Ash Wednesday (start of Lent) Christian Special Worship
Friday 16 Chinese New Year Confucian/Daoist/Buddhist Special Worship
Monday 19 Clean Monday Orthodox Christian Special Worship
Wednesday 28 Fast of Esther Judaism Food Restriction
Wednesday (sundown) to Thursday 28 - March 1 Purim Judaism Special Worship
March 2018        
Thurs to Friday 1 - 2 Holi Hinduism Special Worship
Friday 2 Women’s World Day of Prayer  Multifaith Special Worship
Friday-Tuesday 2 - 20 The 19 Day Fast  Baha’i Food Restriction
Tuesday 20 Spring Equinox Pagan Special Worship
Tuesday (sundown) - Wednesday 20 - 21 Naw Ruz (New Year’s Day) Bahá’í /Zoroastrian Work Restriction
Sunday 25 Palm Sunday Christian/Unitarian Special Worship
Thursday 29 Holy Thursday Christian/Unitarian Special Worship
Friday 30 Good Friday Christian/Unitarian Special Worship/Food Restriction
Friday 30 Fast of the First Born Judaism Food Restriction
Fridayday(sundown) to Sunday 30 - April 1 Passover Judaism Work/Food Restriction/Special Worship
Saturday 31 Holy Saturday Christian Special Worship
April 2018        
Sunday 1 Easter Christian/Unitarian Special Worship
Sunday 1 Palm Sunday Orthodox Christian Special Worship
Monday to Thursday 2 - 5 Passover Intermediate Days Judaism Special Worship/Food Restriction
Thursday (sundown) to Saturday 5-7 End of Passover Judaism Work/Food Restriction/Special Worship
Friday 6 Great Friday Orthodox Christian Special Worship
Sunday 8 Easter Orthodox Christian Special Worship
Wednesday (sundown) to Thursday 11 - 12 Yom HaShoah  Judaism Special Worship/Mourning
Saturday 14 Baisakhi Hindu New Year/Sikh Special Celebration
Thursday (sundown) to Friday 19-20 Yom Haatzmaut Judaism Special Celebration
Friday (sundown) to Saturday  20 - 21 First Day of Ridvan Bahá’í Work Restrictions
Saturday (sundown) to Sunday 28 - 29 Ninth Day of Ridvan Bahá’í Work Restrictions
Monday 30 Vesak Buddhism/ Southeast Asia Special Worship
May 2018        
Tuesday 1 Beltane Pagan Special Worship
Tuesday (sundown) to Wednesday 1 - 2 Twelfth Day of Ridvan  Bahá’í Work/Food Restriction
Wednesday (sundown) to Thursday 2 - 3 Lag B’Omer Judaism Special Worship
Thursday 10 Ascension of the Lord Christian/Orthodox Special Worship
Saturday (sundown) to Monday 19 - 21 Shavuot Judaism Work Restriction/Special Worship
Sunday 20 Pentecost Christian/Orthodox Special Worship
Tuesday (sundown) to Wednesday 22 - 23 Declaration of the Bab  Bahá’í Work Restriction
Friday (sundown) 26 First Night of Ramadan Islam Special Worship
Saturday 27-31 Ramadan (first fast) Islam Work Restriction
Tuesday 29 Ascension of the Bahá’u’lláh Bahá’í Work Restriction
June 2018        
Thursday 1-24 Ramadan (Daily Fasts) Islam Work Restriction
Sunday 25-27 Eid al-Fitr Islam Special Worship