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Skidmore College
Religious and Spiritual Life

Holidays and Religious Observances

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Conscientious Religious Observance Policy

If religious observances cause absence from class, campus employment, athletic practice, and/or game days or necessitates accommodations, students should notify their faculty, coaches, or supervisors prior to the date(s) of their absence. New York State policy and Skidmore College policy mandates that students be allowed to make up academic work and/or campus employment requirements without penalty. These accommodations should not reduce the overall expectations of a course nor unduly burden the student requesting accommodation. Faculty must permit students to take a makeup examination without any penalty if they have to miss an examination due to religious observances. Similarly, faculty must permit students to submit missed assignments by an agreed upon due date, without penalty.

Although not required, the College highly recommends that students submit written notification of the pending religious observances at the start of the semester or at least one week before the date. As an option, students may use this form [here]. Distributing the written notification during the first week of classes, campus employment, or the start of the athletic season gives students, faculty, coaches, or supervisors time to prepare for the absence.

If a student, supervisor, coach, or faculty member feels the policy is being violated, they should contact the Dean of Faculty Office at 518-580-5705 (Palamountain 416), the Dean of Students Office at 518-580-5760 (Case Center 313), or Human Resources at 518-580-5800 (Barrett Center first floor).

The above language was adopted by CEPP and IPPC in Spring 2020


Religious Accommodations FAQs from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

The following language is advice from ORSL. The official Conscientious Religious Observance Policy language is above.  

  • What are accommodations? Accommodations vary depending on your situation but might include things like permission to miss class in order to observe a holiday, or changing a work schedule to align with prayer times. The plan you set with your instructor might include makeup work or other adjustments to assignments. 
  • When should I request accommodations? We recommend starting the process as early as possible, ideally at or before the start of the semester or season, even if you're not absolutely sure yet about religious service times or other details. 
  • Am I guaranteed to receive accomodations? Remember that a request to your instructor or supervisor is the start of a conversation. Some types of accomodations are required by law and College policy. However, the exact details of the accomodation may depend on course requirements and other factors (like whether or not there will be makeup work, and whether or not all of your requested dates will be approved). 
  • Can I travel or go home for a holiday? Or can I arrive late or leave early for the semester? Students are generally expected to be present at Skidmore for the entire semester. Depending on your schedule it may not be possible to travel for holidays or other religious observances. ORSL can assist in identifying on-campus or local options, including connecting with other students who may be missing the chance to be with family and familiar communities at important times. 
  • Where can I ask questions or get help with this? Not sure about any part of the policy or process? We can help. Email orsl@skidmore.edu or see our staff page for more contact information.

Calendar 

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Academic Calendars with information about classes, examinations, and other important dates are available through theRegistrar's Office

About this Calendar:  Notes about specific observances are offered based on relevance to event planning (such dietary or fasting considerations). These notes are not meant to be an exhaustive description of a holiday or observance. This Calendar is a work in progress. It does not contain every holiday or observance that may be important to members of our community. Suggestions and corrections are welcome.  If you have questions, corrections, or additions regarding this calendar, please contact our office

Dates change every year and may vary by community and tradition. Calendar systems vary and many religious observances occur on different dates of the (Georgian) calendar each year. For example, members of the same overall religious tradition may observe a holiday on different days based on local traditions or different interpretations of religious guidelines. Observances that overlap with final exams one year might not overlap the next year. 

Observance varies within communities and traditions. Not every member of a religious community will observe every holiday listed below for that community and there may be significant diversity in observance and even strong disagreement about observance within and between communities, even when such variance is not specified below. 

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly observances: This page does not include dates and times of daily, weekly, monthly, and other regular observances. We recommend checking the ORSL weekly schedule, asking for feedback from potential participants, and announcing dates and times as early as possible to accommodate these practices. We are happy to discuss potential accommodations including dietary considerations, prayer space, schedules for all-day events, alternative service times, and access to off-campus gatherings.  

Terminology: Many names and terms used in this calendar have multiple spellings and transliterations in English usage. Effort has been made to use widely recognized spellings.  Some terminology is used for efficiency and clarity (such as references to "Western" or "Eastern" Christianity) even as we acknowledge that they do not perfectly reflect current understandings of religious history and demographics. We welcome feedback and suggestions for continuing to improve this resource.

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Spring semester 2023 

January 2023 

  • 6-7 Christmas: Christian, primarily "Eastern" denominations and churches using a Julian calendar
  • 22 (and follwing dates) Lunar New Year: Multiple communities including many East Asian cultures and communities and religious and spiritual traditions including some Buddhist, Taoist communities. Note: There are many lunar calendars used around the world with different dates for celebrate a "new year". This listing reflects common usage in American English to refer to the New Year celebrated based on lunisolar calendars common in many parts of Asia. 

February 2023 

  • 5-6 Tu B’Shevat: Jewish, evening Sunday February 5 through evening Monday February 6
  • 8 or 15 Parinirvana Day: some Buddhist communities, including many Mahayana communities, dates and observance vary 
  • 17-18 Isra and Mi’raj: Muslim, evening Friday February 17  through evening Saturday February 18
  • 18 Maha Shiviratri: Hindu
  •  
  • 22 Ash Wednesday: Christian, primarily "Western" liturgical communities 
    • Observance may include attendance at services and dietary restrictions
  • February 22/27 through April 6/8: Lent or Great Lent: Christian, dates and observance vary by community 
    • Observance may include dietary restrictions, additional prayer times and attendance at services
  • February 26 - March 1:  Ayyám-i-Há: Baha'i

March 2023 

  • February 22/27 thourgh April 6/8: Lent or Great Lent: Christian, dates and observance vary by community 
    • Observance may include dietary restrictions, additional prayer times and attendance at services
  • 2-20: Month of ‘Alá’: Baha'i, observance may include fasting from sunrise to sunset  
  • 6-7 Purim: Jewish, evening Monday March 6 through evening Tuesday March 7
  • 7 Holi: Hindu, Sikh, Jain. Note: observance at Skidmore is sometimes later in the Spring semester
  • 8-10 Hola Mohalla: Sikh
  • 20 Spring Equinox, and surrounding days: Northern hemisphere, multiple traditions, dates and duration vary including:
    • Nowruz/Naw-Rúz: many communities and varied religious and/or cultural traditions including Zoroastrian, Baha'i and other Persian traditions, dates and duration may vary 
    • Ostara, Wiccan and Neo-Pagan 
  • March 22* - April 21*: Ramadan, Muslim, *dates may vary and official dates may not be determined by religious authorities until the start of Ramadan 
    • Observance may include fasting including abstention from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset, additional prayer times, and attendance at religious services including late night gatherings

April 2023 

  • February 22/27 - April 6/8: Lent or Great Lent: Christian, dates and observance vary by community 
    • Observance may include dietary restrictions, additional prayer times and attendance at services
  • March 22* - April 21* Ramadan: Muslim, *dates may vary and official dates may not be determined by religious authorities until the start of Ramadan 
      • Observance may include fasting including abstention from all food and drink from sunrise to sunset, additional prayer times, and attendance at religious services
      • April 11-21: Exact dates may vary, last ten days of Ramadan, observance may include additional prayer time and extended attendance at overnight religious services
  • 2-8 Holy Week: Christian, primarily "Western" liturgical communities, including Palm Sunday (April 2nd), Maundy Thursday (April 6th), Good Friday (April 7th), and Holy Saturday (April 8th)
    • Observances may include attendance at religious services throughout the week
    • Good Friday and Holy Saturday observances may include dietary restrictions or fasting and abstention from celebratory activities, observance varies 
  • 5-13 Passover: Jewish, evening of Wednesday April 5th through evening of Thursday April 13th
    • Observance may include dietary restrictions including abstention from leavened bread and many grain products, and attendance at religious services and Seders, especially the evenings of April 5th and 6th. 
  • 9 Easter: Christian, primarily "Western"
    • Observance may include attendance at services, including the evening of Saturday April 8th or morning of Sunday April 9th
  • 9-15 Holy Week: Christian, primarily "Eastern" traditions 
    • Observance may include dietary restrictions and attendance at additional services
  • 16 Pascha/Easter: Christian, primarily "Eastern" traditions 
  • 11-21: Last 10 days of Ramadan, Lailat al-Qadr: Muslim, exact dates may not be determined by religious authorities until the day. Observance may include additional prayer time and texted attendance at overnight religious services. Fasting continues with absention from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. 
  • 21-22* Eid al Fitr: Muslim, dates may vary and official dates may not be determined by religious authorities until the start of Eid, expected to be evening of Friday, April 21 through evening of Saturday April 22
    • Observance may include attendance at religious services, especially early to mid morning  

May 2023 

  • 8-9 Lag BaOmer: Jewish, evening Monday May 8 through evening Tuesday May 9
  • 18 Ascension Day: Christian
  • 25-26 Shavuot: Jewish, evening Thursday May 25 through evening Friday May 26

 

fall semester 2023 (in progress)

August 2023 (in progress)

  • July 18 - July 28: Islamic New Year/Hijri (Aug 29), First ten days of Muharram, Ashura (July 27-28): Muslim, dates vary and may not be determined by religious authorities before the date of observance.
    • Observance varies greatly between and within communities and may include fasting and attendance at religious services. 
  • July 27 Tisha B'Av: Jewish, evening Wednesday July 26th through evening Thursday July 27th. 
    • Observance may include fasting and abstention from celebratory events, including during preceding weeks and days
  • 14-15 Obon, Yulanpen Festival, Zhongyuan Festival, and additional ancestral observances: multiple communities, including some Buddhist and Taoist communities. Dates and duration may vary. 
  • 15 Assumption of Mary: Christian, Holy Day of Obligation for attendance at Mass for Roman Catholics
  • 12-19 Paryushana/Das Lakshana Dharma: Jain, dates vary by sect and community. 
    • Observance may include fasting

September 2023 (in progress)

  • 6 Sri Krishna Janmashtami: Hindu
  • 18 Ganesh Chaturthi: Hindu, dates and duration may vary 
  • 15-17 Rosh Hashanah: Jewish, evening Friday September 15th through evening Sunday September 17th. 
    • Observance may include attendance at services including the first evening and during the following two days.
  • 23 Autumnal Equinox: Northern hemisphere, multiple traditions, including Wiccan and Neo-Pagan observance of Mabon(September 21-29, dates and duration vary). 
  • 24-25 Yom Kippur: Jewish, evening Monday September 24th through Tuesday September 25th
    • Observance may include fasting and attendance at evening and daytime services
  • 26-27 Mawlid Nabi: Muslim, observance varies significantly by community, evening Wednesday September 26th through evening Thursday September 27th 

October 2023 (in progress)

  • Sept 29-Oct 6 Sukkot: Jewish, evening Saturday, September 29th through evening Friday, October 6
  • 6-7 Shemini Atzeret: Jewish, evening Saturday October 6th - evening Sunday October 7th 
  • 7-8 Simchat Torah: Jewish, evening Sunday October 7th - evening Monday October 8th 
  • 21-28 Navpad Oli: Jain, dates may vary 
  • 26-27 Birth of the Báb and The Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Baháʼí 

November 2023 (in progress)

  • 1-2: Day of the Dead, Samhain, All Saints and All Souls: Multiple overlapping religious traditions and cultures, including Christian and Wiccan/Neo-Pagan communities and Mexican and other Latine/x communities.  Observance and duration vary and may include: 
    • November 1st: All Saints, Christian, Holy Day of Obligation for attendance at Mass for Roman Catholics 
  • 3-24: Advent: Christian, primarily "Western" liturgical communities
  • 12 Diwali, Tihar, Lakshmi Puja, Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikh), and additional observances: dates and duration may vary, multiple communities and a variety of observances including Hindu, Jain, and Sikh. 
  • 26 Guru Nanak Jayanti/Gurpurab: Sikh, dates may vary, some communities observe in April
  • 26 Day of the Covenant: Bahá’í
  • 28 Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Bahá’í

December 2023 (in progress)

  • 4-11 Chalica:Unitarian Universalist, observance varies 
  • 6 or 19: St. Nicholas Day, observance and date vary by community 
  • 7-15 Hanukkah: Jewish, evening of Thursday, December 7 through evening of Friday, December 15
  • 21 Winter Solstice: Northern hemisphere, multiple traditions, including Wiccan and Neo-Pagan observance of Yule (December 21- January 1, dates and duration vary). 
  • 24-25 Christmas Eve and Christmas:Christian, primarily "Western" denominations and churches using a Gregorian calendar 
  • December 26 - January 1: Kwanzaa, African-American and African diaspora cultural observances including religious and spiritual traditions, observance varies 

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