Religious Holidays

Please refer to this page for information on Religious Accommodations around Holidays and Religious Observances. Some information has recently changed. 

In keeping with Goucher College’s commitment to “champion an inclusive community,” the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life seeks to support all students in practicing their sincerely held religious traditions or spiritual paths. The college will make every effort to accommodate religious diversity when possible, including respect for the observance or accommodation of religious holy days such as: holidays, festivals, feast days, fasts, High Holidays, or Holy Days of Obligation.

When possible, faculty and managers should make every effort to provide reasonable religious accommodations to students or student staff who request them.

Religious Holy Days - SPRING 2023 Memo (PDF)

High Holy Days - 2022-24 (PDF)

A more complete list of religious holidays can be found at

For Students

To receive support for religious observance, students must submit the Religious Observance form to their instructor at the beginning of the semester or, if possible, no later than two weeks before the day(s) for which accommodation is needed. Students should fill out the top half of the form and faculty the bottom half. Both parties should retain copies of the form.


Religious Observance Form (PDF) 

NOTE: This form is under review and will be revised for the 2023-2024 Academic Year. 


Goucher College prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. Our Diversity Statement is as follows:

We at Goucher College are dedicated to social justice, diversity, and multiculturalism as fundamental components of our mission and ethos. We champion an inclusive community, embrace and respect different perspectives, and value diversity in all its forms and intersections, including ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, nationality, race, religious and spiritual belief, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Understanding that power, privilege, and other forces of inequality play a role in shaping our individual and collective experiences and identities, we are committed to productive dialogue and meaningful action in addressing our differences. We approach this ongoing work with courage, integrity, care, and respect.

More information on Goucher College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice can be found here.

Goucher College’s Nondiscrimination Policy can be found here

For Faculty

Below you will find a list of the Religious Holy Days that may impact your calendars in the Spring 2023 semester. This is not an exhaustive list. Rather, the holidays included are those that may have a significant impact on observant students and could present a conflict with academic demands while school is in session. It may be prudent to avoid scheduling programs, events, or deadlines on some of these days, as some members of our community could be fasting or limiting work (indicated with an asterisk*) or observing the holiday in other ways.

Keep in mind that some observances require additional time for preparation or travel before and after the actual holy day.

An instructor would not ordinarily ask a student for proof of their religious practice or spiritual path, or whether they are sincerely held beliefs in determining religious accommodation. It is recommended to be in contact with the Office of the Chaplain regarding a student’s stated religious belief for additional guidance and support.

The Chaplain is not responsible for determining if a student should or should not be provided religious exceptions in the form of absences or other accommodations. Final decisions regarding attendance are at the discretion of the instructor.

Due to the varied nature of holy day requirements, and the dates for holy days fall outside of a student’s control (especially as some faiths celebrate several days in succession that might take students out of class for more dates than is permissible in a course’s attendance policy), we recommend that an instructor consider utilizing the following suggestions in the hopes of developing a plan for a student to both honor their religious traditions and be an active participant in their coursework and course requirements.

Students should be provided accommodation to the extent that it is reasonably practical. This could include:

  • Making available to each student absent the opportunity to make up any examination (including rescheduling an exam), required work or assignments, or altering the time of a student’s presentation
  • Allowing for extra credit to substitute for missed class work or participation
  • Visiting an instructor during their office hours for missed lecture and/or instruction
  • Provision of flexible due dates for course assignments
  • Viewing recordings of class sessions (if applicable or available)
  • Be provided make-up assignments equivalent to the material missed
  • Or, in some cases, attending class with the understanding that no participation will take place until the religious holiday has concluded.

You may contact the Office of the Chaplain at any time for clarification or guidance.


Full List of Holy Days: Spring 2023 

January 1: The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Roman Catholic Christianity)

January 3: Asara B'Tevet - The Tenth of Tevet (Judaism) *minor fast, no work restriction

January 6: Christmas Eve (Orthodox Christianity)

January 7: Christmas (Orthodox Christianity)

January 15: Makar Sankranti (Hindu)

January 22: Lunar New Year (Doaist, Confusian, Buddhist)

January 26: Vasant Panchami (Hindu, Sikh)

February 6: Tu BiShvat - New Year of Trees (Judaism) *begins at sundown February 5, no work restriction

February 5: Nirvana Day (Buddhist)

February 18: Maha Shivaratri (Hindu)

February 22: Ash Wednesday (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity) *fasting

March 6: Ta'anit Esther - Fast of Esther (Judaism) *minor fast, no work restriction

March 7: Purim - Festival of Lots (Judaism) *begins at sundown March 6, no work restriction

March 1: Ash Wednesday (Orthodox Christianity)

March 7-8: Holi - Festival of Colors (Hinduism) *fasting

March 22 - April 21: Ramadan (Islam) month of fasting, dawn until dusk or sundown, begins at sundown March 22

March 30: Ram Navami (Hindu)

April 2: Palm Sunday (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity)

April 6 - April 13: Passover - Festival of Freedom (Judaism) *work restrictions on following set of days: evening of 4/5-evening of 4/7 and evening of 4/11-evening of 4/13, *begins at sundown April 5

April 7: Good Friday (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity)

April 9: Easter (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity), Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christianity)

April 14: Good Friday (Orthodox Christianity)

April 16: Easter (Orthodox Christianity)

April 18: Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Memorial Day (Judaism) *no work restriction, begins at sundown April 17

April 18: Laylat al-Qadr (Islam) *begins at sundown April 17

April 22: Eid-al-Fitr - Feast Celebrating the Conclusion of Ramadan (Islam) *begins sundown April 21

April 25: Yom HaZikaron - Israeli Memorial Day (Judaism) *no work restriction, begins at sundown April 24

April 26: Yom Ha’Atzma'ut - Israeli Independence Day (Judaism) *no work restriction, begins at sundown April 25

May 9: Lag BaOmer - 33rd day of counting the Omer (Judaism) *no work restriction, begins at sundown May 8

May 26-27: Shavuot - Festival of Weeks (Judaism) *work restriction, begins at sundown May 25

May 18: Ascension (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity)

May 25: Ascension (Orthodox Christianity)

May 28: Pentecost (Roman Catholic and Protestant Christianity

June 4: Pentecost (Orthodox Christianity)

June 28-29: Eid al-Adha (Islam)


Holy Days by Religious Tradition: Spring 2023


Lunar New Year (Confucian, Daoist)   January 22, 2023

Nirvana Day                                        February 15, 2023

Vesak Day                                           May 5, 2023



Epiphany (Theophany - Orthodox)     January 6, 2023

Christmas Eve (Orthodox)                  January 6, 2023

Christmas Day (Orthodox)                  January 7, 2023

Ash Wednesday(Western)                  February 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday (Orthodox)               March 1, 2023

Good Friday (Western)                       April 7, 2023 (may include fasting)

Easter (Western)                                 April 9, 2023

Holy Friday (Orthodox)                       April 14, 2023 (may include fasting)

Easter (Orthodox)                               April 16, 2023

Pentecost (Western)                           May 28, 2023

Pentecost (Orthodox)                         June 4, 2023



Makar Sankranti                                 January 15, 2023

Vasant Panchami                                January 26, 2023

Maha Shivaratri                                  February 18, 2023

Holi (Festival of Colors)                       March 7-8, 2023 (fasting)

Ram Navami                                       March 30, 2023



(Jewish holy days and religious festivals begin at sunset the evening preceding the first date).

Asara B’Tevet                                      January 3, 2023 (*minor fast, no work restrictions)

Tu BiShvat                                           February 6, 2023 (begins at sundown on February 5, no work restrictions)

Ta’anit Esther                                      March 6, 2023 (minor fast, no work restriction)

Purim                                                  March 7, 2023 (begins at sundown on March 6, celebration, no work restriction)

Pesach (Passover)                               April 6 – April 13, 2023 (the first two and last two days require work restrictions)

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) April 17-April 18, 2023

Shavuot                                               May 25 – May 27, 2023 (begins at sundown, work restriction)



(Muslim holy days are based on a lunar calendar, and the actual dates are determined by direct observation of the moon and announced by the local mosque. The dates listed below may vary by a day or two).

Ramadan                                             March 22 – April 21, 2023

  • fasting required during daylight hours, many people rest during the day and wake early to eat, prayers throughout the day and other observances

Laylat al-Qadr                                     April 18, 2023 (fasting, worship)

Eid-al-Fitr                                            April 22, 2023 (worship, begins at sundown on April 21)

  • marks the end of the month of Ramadan and one of the most holy days of the year, feast and celebration as well as religious observances

Eid-al-Adha                                         June 28-29, 2023



Maghi                                                  January 13, 2023

Vasant Panchami                                January 26, 2023

Vaisakhi                                               April 14, 2023