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 policyIn order that no student at Colgate suffer academic penalty because of his or her conscientious observance of a major religious holiday, it is important that faculty members follow a uniform policy regarding such observance. For scheduling purposes involving the student body, Colgate considers major religious holidays to be the following: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first two days of Passover, Good Friday, and Easter. 
Quizzes or exams should not be scheduled, and papers should not become due, on any of these holidays or on the subsequent two weekdays. In addition, every effort will be made not to schedule major college events on these days. 
Please also note that students observing the festival of Ramadan may need accommodation for their fasting arrangements. Please consult the University Chaplain for details. Students whose conscientious religious observance requires that they observe religious holidays in addition to those named above, for example Orthodox Good Friday, and Orthodox Easter, should inform their instructors well in advance. In such cases, each instructor and student shall arrange an accommodation consistent with the policy described for the major religious holidays listed above.

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

Religious Holiday Policy Dates

Major Holidays: List View
Please refer to the Faculty Handbook for the policy in section IV.C.5 regarding observance of religious holidays.
  • Rosh Hashanah
    Monday, October 3 and Tuesday, October 4
    (Holiday begins at sundown on October 2)

  • Yom Kippur
    Wednesday, October 12
    (Holiday begins at sundown on October 11)

  • Christmas
    Sunday, December 25

  • Passover
    Tuesday, April 11 – Wednesday, April 12
    (Holiday begins at sundown on April 10)

  • Good Friday
    Friday, April 14

  • Easter Sunday
    Sunday, April 16
Calendar showing religious holidays recognized in Colgate policies

Supplemental Calendar of Religious Holiday Dates

For reference only. These holidays are not included in the campus policy.
Additional Holidays: List View
While these holidays are not included in the Faculty Handbook policy regarding observance of religious holidays, they are provided here for reference.
  • Ramadan
    Monday, June 6 – Wednesday, July 6

  • Eid al-Fitr
    Wednesday, July 6
    (Holiday begins at sundown on July 5)

  • Eid al-Adha
    Sunday, September 11
    (Holiday begins at sundown on September 10)

  • Sukkot
    Monday, October 17 – October 24
    (Holiday begins at sundown on October 16)

  • Simchat Torah
    Tuesday, October 25
    (Holiday begins at sundown on October 24)

  • Diwali
    Sunday, October 30

  • All Saint's Day
    Tuesday, November 1

  • First Sunday of Advent
    Sunday, December 4

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    Thursday, December 8

  • Chanukah
    Sunday, December 25 – Sunday, January 1
    (Holiday begins at sundown on December 24)

  • Ash Wednesday
    Wednesday, March 1

  • Purim
    Sunday, March 12
    (Holiday begins at sundown on March 11)

  • Holi
    Monday, March 13

  • Palm Sunday
    Sunday, April 9

  • Holy Thursday
    Thursday, April 13

  • Ramadan
    Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, June 25
    (Holiday begins at sundown on June 11)

  • Shavuot
    Wednesday, May 31 and Thursday, June 1
    (Holiday begins at sundown on May 30)

  • Eid al-Fitr
    Sunday, June 25
    (Holiday begins at sundown on June 24)

Calendar showing religious holidays not specifically covered by Colgate policies