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

Religious Holiday Policy Dates

Religious Holiday Policy Dates 2015-16
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, September 14 and Tuesday, September 15
    (Holiday begins at sundown on September 13)

  • Yom Kippur
    Wednesday, September 23
    (Holiday begins at sundown on September 23)

  • Christmas
    Friday, December 25

  • Good Friday
    Friday, March 25

  • Easter Sunday
    Sunday, March 27

  • Passover
    Saturday, April 23 – Saturday, April 30
    (Holiday begins at sundown on April 22)

Supplemental Calendar of Religious Holiday Dates

For reference only. These holidays are not included in the campus policy.
Supplemental Calendar of Religious Holiday Dates 2015-16
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.
  • Eid al-Adha
    Wednesday, September 23 and Thursday, September 24

  • Sukkot
    Monday, September 28 – October 5
    (Holiday begins at sundown on September 27)

  • Simchat Torah
    Tuesday, October 6

  • All Saint's Day
    Sunday, November 1

  • Diwali
    Wednesday, November 11 – Sunday, November 15

  • First Sunday of Advent
    Sunday, November 29

  • Chanukah
    Monday, December 7 – Sunday, December 13
    (Holiday begins at sundown on December 6)

  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception
    Tuesday, December 8

  • Chinese New Year
    Monday, February 8

  • Ash Wednesday
    Wednesday, February 10

  • Palm Sunday
    Sunday, March 20

  • Purim
    Wednesday, March 24
    (Holiday begins at sundown on March 23)

  • Holi
    Wednesday, March 23

  • Holy Thursday
    Thursday, March 24

  • Shavuot
    Sunday, June 12 and Monday, June 13
    (Holiday begins at sundown on June 11)

  • Ramadan
    Monday, June 6 – Wednesday, July 6

  • Eid al-Fitr
    Thursday, July 7
    (Holiday begins at sundown on July 6)