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Religious Holidays

All human communities set aside time to celebrate the people and events that have shaped their respective identities. Religious communities also designate important times and seasons. These holidays—or Holy Days—can be weekly events such as the Jewish Sabbath, or annual events like Easter, or seasonal events such as Ramadan.

These Holy Days and Festivals include special rituals or personal obligations such as fasting or almsgiving.

The following is a partial list of the most important Holy Days and Festivals celebrated by religious communities on our campus from August through June. An *asterisk indicates that it begins at sundown the day before this date and ends at sundown on this date. The holidays in bold print mean they are the most important for the tradition.

Upcoming Religious Holiday Observances by CURW 

Passover/Pesach Celebrations by CURW ministries

(Read: Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers?) 

In any other year, Cornell Hillel and Cornell Dining host an annual Super-Seder, an opportunity for over 350 Cornellians to celebrate together and remember the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.  This year, Cornell Hillel is offering a number of ways for Cornellians to join a socially distanced or small group gathering. Check out Hillel’s website for a full listing of our Passover options.  Passover begins Saturday, March 27 and end Sunday, April 4th. 

https://www.cornellhillel.org/holidays

Still have questions? Email us at CUhillel@gmail.com

Social media link: https://www.facebook.com/CornellHillel/posts/10159233862310948

Holi Celebrations by Hindu Student Council

Hindu Student Council will be posting updates about their Holi (March 28-29) celebration plans on their website—click for more information.

Christian Holy Week and Easter Programs by CURW ministries

Protestant Cooperative Ministry at Cornell

Easter Worship - Sunday, April 4, 11AM Zoom Meeting ID: 924 8544 3388
(Supported by the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, The American Baptist Churches)

Email Protestant_coop@cornell.edu for password.

pcm.curw.cornell.edu

 

Episcopal Church at Cornell

Maundy Thursday - April 1 at 7PM on Zoom - Proper liturgy for the Thursday of Holy Week with the Episcopal Church at Cornell. http://cglink.me/2ee/r1055758 or https://www.episcopalchurchatcornell.org/

Good Friday - April 2 at 12PM on Zoom - Solemn Good Friday liturgy with the Episcopal Church at Cornell. http://cglink.me/2ee/r1055769 or https://www.episcopalchurchatcornell.org/ 

Easter Sunday- April 4 at 12:30PM on Zoom - Festive Easter liturgy with the Episcopal Church at Cornell. http://cglink.me/2ee/r1055779 or https://www.episcopalchurchatcornell.org/

Easter Evening - April 4 at 5PM on Zoom - Spoken Easter Evening service with the Episcopal Church at Cornell. https://www.episcopalchurchatcornell.org/

 

Trinity Lutheran Church 

Palm Sunday – March 28 at 10:30 am with procession to the cross – live streamed at https://trinityithaca.org/ 

Maundy Thursday – April 1 at 7pm – live streamed at https://trinityithaca.org/

Good Friday – April 2 at 7pm – live streamed with seven words from the cross at https://trinityithaca.org/

Easter Sunday Worship – April 2 at 7am and 10:30am – live streamed at https://trinityithaca.org/

Ramadan Observances by CURW Ministries

Muslim Educational and Cultural Association (MECA) and Muslim Life at Cornell will be hosting special programming in observance of Ramadan (April 12-May 12). Learn more on MECA’s website.

Annual Religious Holidays

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Religious Holidays 2021

April 2021

4/1 — Maundy Thursday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). 

4/2 — Good FridayChristian (Protestant and Catholic). Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus.

4/4 — EasterChristian (Protestant and Catholic). The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

4/9 — *Yom HaShoah. Jewish. Holocaust Remembrance Day.

4/11 — Divine Mercy Sunday. Christian.

4/12-5/12 — *RamadanIslam. 9th month on Islamic calendar, devoted fasting from first light to sunset. In this month, the Prophet Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation, the Qur`an, is commemorated. It is the holiest period of the Islamic Year. The start date is set either by following Saudi practice or by moon sighting. [Begins at sundown on 4/12]

4/13-21 — Ramayana. Hindu.

4/13 — Vaisakhi. Sikh.

4/21 — Rama Navami. Hindu.

4/24 —Lazarus Saturday. Orthodox Christian.

4/25 — Palm Sunday. Orthodox Christian.

4/27 — Hanuman Jayanti. Hindu.

4/30 — *Lag B’Omer. Jewish. 

4/30 — Great and Holy Friday. Orthodox Christian.

May 2021

5/2 — Pascha (Easter). Orthodox Christian.

5/13 — *Eid al-Fitr. Islam. Marks the end of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to God.

5/13 — Ascension. Christian (Protestant and Catholic).

5/16-18 — *Shavuot. Jewish.  [Begins at sundown on 5/16]

5/23 — Pentecost/Whit Sunday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic).

5/26 — Visakha Puja Day/Buddha Day. Buddhist. 

5/30 — Trinity Sunday. Catholic.

June 2021

6/3 — Corpus Christi. Catholic. 

6/10 — Ascension. Orthodox Christian.

6/20 — Pentecost. Orthodox Christian.

July 2021

7/18 — *Tisha B’ Av. Jewish. The major day of communal mourning.  

7/20 — *Eid al-Adha. Islam.

August 2021

8/15 — Assumption of Mary/Dormition of the Theotokos. Catholic and Orthodox Christian. 

8/29 — Janmashtami. Hindu.

Religious Holidays 2022

January 2022 

1/1 — The Solemnity of Mary. Catholic. 

1/6 — Epiphany/Theophany. Christian. This date commemorates the revelation of God through Jesus Christ and marks the time the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem and presented gifts to baby Jesus. [1/6] 

1/13 — Maghi. Sikh.  

1/16 — *Tu BiShvat. Jewish.  

1/30 — Mahayana New Year. Buddhist. 

February 2022 

2/2 — Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. Orthodox Christian. [2/2] 

2/1 — Chinese New Year. Buddhist. Confucian. Taoist. Begins a fifteen Day Festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth. 

2/5 — Vasant Panchami. Hindu. Celebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of Learning. 

2/15 — *Nirvana Day. Hindu. Buddhist. A regional observance of the death of the Buddha. [2/8] 

2/16 — Magha Puja (Sangha) Day. Buddhist. Celebration of the presentation of teaching by Lord Buddha to an assembly of holy men. 

March 2022 

3/1 — Maha Shivaratri. Hindu. Festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. 

3/1 — *Laylat al-Mi’raj. Islam. Commemorates Muhammad’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascension to heaven.  

3/2 — Ash Wednesday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). Lent begins. 

3/7 — Great Lent begins. Orthodox Christian. 

3/13 — Sunday of Orthodoxy. Orthodox Christian. 

3/17 — *Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide.  

3/18 — *Holi. Hindu. Festival of Colors. 

3/18 — *Laylat al-Bara’ah. Islam.  

3/18 — Hola Mohalla. Sikh.  

3/25 — Annunciation. Catholic and Orthodox Christian.  

April 2022 

4/2-10 — Ramayana. Hindu. 

4/3-5/2 — *Ramadan. Islam. 9th month on Islamic calendar, devoted fasting from first light to sunset. In this month, the Prophet Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation, the Qur`an, is commemorated. It is the holiest period of the Islamic Year. The start date is set either by following Saudi practice or by moon sighting. [Begins at sundown on 4/3] 

4/9 — *Yom HaShoah. Jewish. Holocaust Remembrance Day.  

4/10 — Rama Navami. Hindu. 

4/10 — Palm Sunday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). A commemoration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as crowds lined his path with palm fronds. 

4/11 — Divine Mercy Sunday. Christian. 

4/13 — Vaisakhi. Sikh.  

4/14 — Maundy Thursday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic).  

4/15 — Good Friday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus.

4/16-23 — *Pesach. Jewish. Jewish 8 day pilgrimage festival celebrating the Exodus from slavery to freedom. Also known as Passover. [Begins at sundown on 4/16] 

4/16 —Lazarus Saturday. Orthodox Christian.  

4/16 — Hanuman Jayanti. Hindu. 

4/17 — Easter. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

4/17 — Palm Sunday. Orthodox Christian. 

4/24 — Pascha (Easter). Orthodox Christian. 

4/30 — Great and Holy Friday. Orthodox Christian. 

May 2022 

5/3 — *Eid al-Fitr. Islam. Marks the end of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to God.  

5/19 — *Lag B’Omer. Jewish.   

5/26— Ascension. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). 

5/27 — Visakha Puja Day/Buddha Day. Buddhist.  

June 2022 

6/2 — Pentecost/Whit Sunday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic).  

6/3 — Corpus Christi. Catholic. 

6/5 — *Shavuot. Jewish.  [Begins at sundown on 6/5] 

6/2— Ascension. Orthodox Christian. 

6/12 — Pentecost. Orthodox Christian. 

6/12 — Trinity Sunday. Catholic. July 2022 

7/9 — *Eid al-Adha. Islam. 

August 2022 

8/5 — *Tisha B’ Av. Jewish. The major day of communal mourning. 

8/6 — Transfiguration. Orthodox Christian.  

8/15 — Assumption of Mary/Dormition of the Theotokos. Catholic and Orthodox Christian.  

8/29 — Janmashtami. Hindu.  

September 2022 

9/21 — Nativity of the Theotokos. Orthodox Christian. 

9/25-9/27 — Rosh Hashanah Jewish. Jewish New Year. A time of introspection, abstinence, and prayer. [Begins at sundown on 9/25] 

October 2022 

10/4 — *Yom Kippur. Jewish. Day of Atonement. The most solemn and holy day of the year in which Jews spend a day in fasting and prayer. 

10/7 — *Mawlid al-Nabi (Sunni). Islam.  

10/9-10/16 — Sukkot. Jewish.  [Begins at sundown on 10/9] 

10/16-10/18 — Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. Jewish. [Begins at sundown on 10/16] 

10/24 — Bandi Chorh Diwas. Sikh.  

10/24 — Diwali. Hindu. Festival of lights symbolizing the human urges to move toward the light. 

November 2022 

11/21 — Presentation of the Theotokos. Orthodox Christian. 

11/27 — Parkash Guru Nanak. Sikh. 

December 2022 

12/18-12/26 — Chanukah. Jewish. Commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Chanukah is celebrated for eight days to mark the eight days the oil burned. [Begins at sundown on 12/18] 

12/25 — Christmas. Christian. Christian celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts and family parties.   

12/26-1/1 — Kwanzaa. African American. Weeklong celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture. 

Religious Holidays 2023

January 2023

1/1 — The Solemnity of Mary. Catholic. 1/6 — Epiphany/Theophany. Christian. This date commemorates the revelation of God through Jesus Christ and marks the time the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem and presented gifts to baby Jesus. 
 

1/22 — Chinese New Year. Buddhist. Confucian. Taoist. Begins a fifteen Day Festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth. 

1/26 — Vasant Panchami. Hindu. Celebration dedicated to Saraswati, goddess of Learning. 

1/30 — Mahayana New Year. Buddhist. 

February 2023

2/5 — *Tu BiShvat. Jewish.  
 

2/5 — Maghi. Sikh.  

2/15 — Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. Orthodox Christian. [2/15] 

2/15 — *Nirvana Day. Hindu. Buddhist. A regional observance of the death of the Buddha. [2/8] 

2/17 — *Laylat al-Mi’raj. Islam. Commemorates Muhammad’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascension to heaven. 

2/18 — Maha Shivaratri. Hindu. Festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. 

2/22 — Ash Wednesday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). Lent begins. 

2/28-5/25— Great Lent begins. Orthodox Christian. 

March 2023

3/5 — Sunday of Orthodoxy. Orthodox Christian. 
 

3/6 — Magha Puja (Sangha) Day. Buddhist. Celebration of the presentation of teaching by Lord Buddha to an assembly of holy men. 

3/7 — *Laylat al-Bara’ah. Islam.  

3/7 — *Holi. Hindu. Festival of Colors. 

3/7 — *Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide. 

3/8-3/10 — Hola Mohalla. Sikh. 

3/22-4/21 — *Ramadan. Islam. 9th month on Islamic calendar, devoted fasting from first light to sunset. In this month, the Prophet Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation, the Qur`an, is commemorated. It is the holiest period of the Islamic Year. The start date is set either by following Saudi practice or by moon sighting. [Begins at sundown on 3/22] 

3/25 — Annunciation. Catholic and Orthodox Christian.  

April 2023

4/2 — Palm Sunday. Orthodox Christian. 
 

4/2 — Palm Sunday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). A commemoration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as crowds lined his path with palm fronds. 

4/2-10 — Ramayana. Hindu. 

4/6 — Hanuman Jayanti. Hindu. 

4/6 — Maundy Thursday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic).  

4/7 — Great and Holy Friday. Orthodox Christian. 

4/7 — Good Friday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus. 

4/8 — Visakha Puja Day/Buddha Day. Buddhist.  

4/9 — Easter. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

4/9 — *Yom HaShoah. Jewish. Holocaust Remembrance Day.  

4/9 — Pascha (Easter). Orthodox Christian. 

4/10 — Rama Navami. Hindu. 

4/14 — Vaisakhi. Sikh.  

4/16 — Divine Mercy Sunday. Christian. 

4/16 — Pascha (Easter). Orthodox Christian. 

4/16-23 — *Pesach. Jewish. Jewish 8 day pilgrimage festival celebrating the Exodus from slavery to freedom. Also known as Passover. [Begins at sundown on 4/16] 

4/16 —Lazarus Saturday. Orthodox Christian.  

4/21 — *Eid al-Fitr. Islam. Marks the end of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to God. 

May 2023

5/8 — *Lag B’Omer. Jewish.
  

5/18 — Ascension. Orthodox Christian.  

5/23— Pentecost. Orthodox Christian.   

5/23 — Pentecost/Whit Sunday. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). 

5/26— Ascension. Christian (Protestant and Catholic). 

June 2023

6/4 — Trinity Sunday. Catholic. 
 

6/8 — Corpus Christi. Catholic. 

6/28 — *Eid al-Adha. Islam. 

July 2023

7/23 — *Tisha B’ Av. Jewish. The major day of communal mourning. 
 

August 2023

8/6 — Transfiguration. Orthodox Christian. 
 

8/15 — Assumption of Mary/Dormition of the Theotokos. Catholic and Orthodox Christian.  

September 2023

9/6 — Janmashtami. Hindu. 
 

9/14 — Nativity of the Theotokos. Orthodox Christian.  

9/15-9/17 — Rosh Hashanah Jewish. Jewish New Year. A time of introspection, abstinence, and prayer. [Begins at sundown on 9/15]  

9/20-9/27 — Sukkot. Jewish.  [Begins at sundown on 9/20] 

9/21 — Nativity of the Theotokos. Orthodox Christian.  

9/24 — *Yom Kippur. Jewish. Day of Atonement. The most solemn and holy day of the year in which Jews spend a day in fasting and prayer. 

9/27-9/29 — Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. Jewish. [Begins at sundown on 9/27] 

9/27 — *Mawlid al-Nabi (Sunni). Islam.  

October 2023

10/6-10/7 — Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. Jewish. [Begins at sundown on 10/6] 
 

November 2023

11/4 — Bandi Chorh Diwas. Sikh.  
 

11/12 — Diwali. Hindu. Festival of lights symbolizing the human urges to move toward the light. 

11/21 — Presentation of the Theotokos. Orthodox Christian.  

11/27 — Parkash Guru Nanak. Sikh.

December 2023

12/7-12/15 — Chanukah. Jewish. Commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Chanukah is celebrated for eight days to mark the eight days the oil burned. [Begins at sundown on 12/7] 

12/25 — Christmas. Christian. Christian celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts and family parties.  

12/26-1/1 — Kwanzaa. African American. Weeklong celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture.