Major Religious Holidays and Celebrations Skip Navigation

Days of Religious Significance

Holidays and Classes

In some cases, religious holidays and the academic calendar may come into conflict with one another. To be respectful of the beliefs of everyone in the Colgate community, a policy for these situations is outlined in the student handbook.

Read the policy
In order that no students suffer academic penalty because of their conscientious observance of major religious holidays, it is important that faculty members follow a uniform policy regarding such observance.

It is reasonable to consider major religious holidays for the Colgate student body as a whole to the following: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Good Friday, and Easter. Quizzes or exams should not be scheduled and papers in courses should not be due on any of these holidays or on the next class session falling after any of these holidays. In addition, every effort will be made not to schedule major university events on these days.

Please also note that Muslim students will observe the festival of Ramadan and may need special consideration relating to fasting and breaking the fast.

Students whose conscientious religious practices require that they observe religious holidays in addition to those named above can make use of the following procedure: prior to the holiday, they may obtain a letter from the appropriate religious adviser affirming their intention to observe the holiday. If such notification is delivered to the course instructor before the holiday, the student's absence on the holiday will be regarded as an authorized one; and the student will be excused from quizzes and exams both for that day and for the next class session (at which his or her attendance may again be expected). Under these circumstances, the student will be permitted to take a make-up exam without penalty.

A similar option exists with respect to papers: if proper notification is delivered to the course instructor before the holiday, the student will be excused from submitting a paper due on that holiday, and from submitting it at the next class session after the holiday (at which his or her attendance may again be expected).

Get Educated!

Want to learn more about any of the holidays below? Consider enrolling in a course with the religion department. Or check out a collection of religion encyclopedias available to students, faculty, and staff on campus through the library's website. LEARN MORE

Dates marked in bold are recognized by Colgate as “major religious holidays.” The other dates are listed for your reference.

Fall 2015

Monday, September 14 (Sundown)
Rosh Hashanah Begins
Tuesday, September 15
Rosh Hashanah Ends
Tuesday, September 22rd (Sundown)
Yom Kippur (Kol Nidre) begins and Eid al-Adha
Wednesday, September 23rd
Yom Kippur ends
Wednesday, October 8 (Sundown)- Friday, October 10 
Sukkot/Simchat Torah Begin
Wednesday, October 15- Thursday, October 16 (Sundown)
Sukkot/Simchat Torah End
Thursday, October 23
Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
Saturday, November 1
All Saints' Day
Sunday, November 30
First Sunday in Advent
Monday, December 8
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Tuesday, December 16 (Sundown)
Chanukah Begins
Wednesday, December 24
Chanukah Ends
Thursday, December 25

Spring 2016

Wednesday, February 18
Ash Wednesday
Thursday, March 5 (Sundown)
Purim Begins
Friday, March 6
Sunday, March 16 (Sundown)
Purim Ends
Sunday, March 29
Palm Sunday
Thursday, April 2
Friday, March 25th
Sunday, March 27th
Holy Thursday
Good Friday (Catholic and Protestant) and Passover begins (Sundown)
Easter Sunday
Saturday, April 23rd
Passover ends
Sunday, April 24th
Yom HaSho'ah (Holocaust Memorial Day)
Thursday, April 23
Yom Ha'atzmaut
Thursday, June 18

* Regional customs, group preference or moon sightings may cause a variation of this date.