Skip to Main Content
Skidmore College
Religious and Spiritual Life

Holidays and Religious Observances

Jump to Calendar information or Spring 2024 or Fall 2024 dates

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 accommodations? Remember that a request to your instructor or supervisor is the start of a conversation. Some types of accommodations are required by law and College policy. However, the exact details of the accommodation 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 or see our staff page for more contact information.


Jump to Spring 2024 Dates or Fall 2024 Dates

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.

Back to top 


January 2024

  • 1 New Year's Day: Traditions vary, including some religious observances 
      • Holy Day of Obligation for Latin Rite Catholics, US
  • 6 Epiphany: Christian, Western liturgical
  • 6-7 Christmas: Christian, Julian/Eastern - evening of Monday January 6th - Tuesday January 7th 
  • 24-25 Tu B’Shvat: Jewish, evening of Wednesday, January 24 - evening of Thursday, January 25
  • 25 Mahayana New Year:Mahayana Buddhist

February 2024

  • 1-2 Imbolc: Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, and other communities
  • 8 or 15 Parinirvana Day: Mahayana Buddhist
  • 10  Lunar New Year: Chinese lunisolar calendar and related calendars, including Chinese, Korean, Mongolian (Tsagaan Sar), and Vietnamese (Tết). Dates of New Year observance vary widely between communities, regions, and traditions, including between different lunar calendars. 
  • 13 Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras: Christian (Western), additional communities and traditions 
  • 14 Ash Wednesday: Christian (Western)
    • Observances may include attendance at services and fasting
  • February 14 – March 28 - Lent: Christian (Western/Gregorian)
    • Observances may include abstention from certain foods and drinks, often including meat. Traditions around fasting vary and include both daily and weekly practices. 
  • 24 or 26 Magha Puja Day: Buddhist, dates and observance vary by community
  • February 26 – 29 Ayyám-i-Há: Bahá’í

March 2024

  • 1 - 19 Month of ‘Alá’: Bahá’í,
    • Observances include fasting by abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset 
  • 8 Maha Shivaratri: Hindu
  • March 10* – April 9*  Ramadan: Muslim, *anticipated days (official start and end days determined by religious leaders at the time, days begin at evening)
    • Observances may include fasting with abstention from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, attendance at services, and additional prayer times
  • March 18 – May 4 - Great Lent: Christian (Eastern/Julian)
    • Observances may include abstention from certain foods and drinks, often including meat. Traditions around fasting vary and include both daily and weekly practices. 
  • 19: Spring Equinox: Northern hemisphere, various traditions 
  • 19-20 Naw-Rúz, Nowruz: Bahá’í, Persian cultural, and additional communities, dates vary
  • 19-23 Ostara: Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and other communities, dates vary
  • 23-24 Purim: Jewish, evening of Saturday, March 23 - evening of Sunday, March 24  
  • 24 Palm Sunday: Christian, Western/Gregorian
  • 25 Holi: Hindu, South Asian cultural, dates vary. At Skidmore: student organizations often organize a Holi celebration for later in the semester closer to the arrival of warmer weather in upstate New York.
  • 25-27 Hola Mohalla: Sikh
  • 28 Maundy Thursday: Christian, Western/Gregorian
  • 29 Good Friday: Christian, Western/Gregorian
    • Observances may include attendance at services and fasting.
  • 30 Holy Saturday: Christian, Western/Gregorian 
    • Observances may include fasting and abstention from celebratory gatherings
  • 31 Easter: Christian, Western/Gregorian
    • Observances include attendance at services on Saturday evening (30th) and/or Sunday (31st)

April 2024

  • March 10* – April 9*  Ramadan: Muslim, *anticipated days (official start and end days determined by religious leaders at the time, days begin at evening)
    • Observances may include fasting with abstention from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, attendance at services, and additional prayer times
  • 9-10* Eid al-Fitr: Muslim, *anticipated dates, official date to be determined by religious leaders closer to occurrence
      • Observances may include attendance at extended morning prayers and celebratory gatherings
  • 9-17  Chaitra Navaratri/Vasanta Navaratri: Hindu, dates may vary, includes New Year’s Day for the Hindu lunisolar calendar
  • 13-14  Vaisakhi: Sikh
  • 22-30 Passover: Jewish, evening Monday, April 22- evening Tuesday, April 30
    • Observances scheduled primarily on the first two and last two days, including seder gatherings the evenings of April 22 and 23 and Mimouna on the evening of April 30 
    • Dietary practices include abstention from leavened bread and other grain products
    • at Skidmore: Traditionally a first night seder is held on campus and second night seders hosted on and off campus. Chametz-free dining options are available at the Dining Hall and for catered events.
  • 24 Theravada New Year: Theravada New Year

May 2024

  • April 30 - May 1 Beltane: Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and other communities, dates vary
  • 5 Pascha/Easter: Christian, Eastern/Julian 
    • Observances include attendance at services 
  • 9 Ascension of Jesus: Christian (Western Liturgical) - Holy Day of Obligation for Roman Catholics
  • 23 Vesak, Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima: Buddhist, dates may vary by community  
  • 25-26 Lag BaOmer: Jewish, evening Wednesday May 25 – evening Thursday May 26

Back to Top

fall semester 2024 

In Progress 

August 2024

  • 26 Sri Krishna Janmashtami: Hindu
  • Augst 31 - September 7 Paryushana: Jain, dates and duration vary 

September 2024 

  • Augst 31 - September 7 Paryushana: Jain, dates and duration vary 
  • 7 Ganesh Chaturthi: Hindu, dates and duration may vary 
  • 22 Autumnal Equinox: Northern hemisphere, multiple traditions, including Wiccan and Neo-Pagan observance of Mabon(September 21-29, dates and duration vary). 
  • 15-16 Mawlid Nabi: Muslim, observance varies significantly by community, evening Sunday September 15 through evening Monday September 16

October 2024 

  • 2-4 Rosh Hashanah: Jewish, evening Wednesday October 2 through evening Friday October 4 
    • Observance may include attendance at services including the first evening and during the following two days.
  • 9-17 Navpad Oli: Jain, dates may vary 
  • 11-12 Yom Kippur: Jewish, evening Friday October 11 - evening Saturday October 12 
    • Observance may include fasting and attendance at evening and daytime services
  • 16-23 Sukkot: Jewish, evening Wednesday October 16 through evening Wednesday October 23
  • 23-25 Shemini Atzeret: Jewish, evening Wednesday October 23- evening Friday October 25
  • 24-25 Simchat Torah: Jewish, evening Thursday October 24 - evening Friday October 25 

November 2024 

  • 1 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. 
  • 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 
  • 2-3 Birth of the Báb and The Birth of Bahá’u’lláh: Baháʼí 
  • 15 Guru Nanak Jayanti/Gurpurab: Sikh, dates may vary
  • 25 Day of the Covenant: Bahá’í
  • 27 Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Bahá’í

December 2024 

  • 1-24: Advent: Christian, primarily "Western" liturgical communities/Gregorian calendar
  • 2-8 Chalica: Unitarian Universalist, observance varies 
  • 6 or 19: St. Nicholas Day, observance and date vary by community 
  • 21 Winter Solstice: Northern hemisphere, multiple traditions, including Wiccan and Neo-Pagan observance of Yule (December 21- January 1, dates and duration vary). 
  • 25 - January 2 Hanukkah: Jewish, evening of Wednesday December 25 through evening of Thursday January 2
  • 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 

Back to top of page or Calendar information