Holy Days

Religious Symbols

The students of the University of Colorado celebrate diversity and spiritual expression and we at RCO want to help students, faculty and staff deepen and enrich those spiritual expressions at CU.  This page is meant to act as a resource for the faculty and staff of CU so that they can be properly equipped to handle the fine balance between the spiritual/religious observances of students and their academic commitments.

What you will find below is a list of common religious/spiritual Holy Days according to the academic calendar along with short explanations, religious/spiritual general practices of the participator, possible anticipated requests from students, and suggestions (when prudent) on how to handle the Holy Day in the classroom.

Please email rco@colorado.edu for any corrections.

Holy Day Calendar

Holy Day: Ramadan Dates: June 28th-July 28th, 2014 

Practitioners: Muslim

Description: Considered one of the five pillars of Islam, the origin of Ramadan stems from the belief that the prophet Mohammad received his first revelation during the month of Ramadan.

Celebrations: Month of prayer and total fasting during daylight hours, even including water. Family meals go late into the evening.

Recommended Accommodations: Please avoid major academic activities if possible and expect low energy from practicing students.
Holy Day: Laylat al-Qadr Dates: July 24, 2014

Practitioners: Muslim

Description: In english, "Night of Destiny" is the anniversary of the night the first verses of the Quran were believed to be written down by the prophet Muhammad.

Celebrations: Pray extra prayers this day, particularly the night prayer.

Recommended Accommodations: None
Holy Day: Eid al Fitr Dates: July 28th, 2014

Practitioners: Muslim

Description: In English, "Feast of Breaking the Fast," marks the end of Ramadan.

Celebrations: It is marked by a day of feasting and celebration.

Recommended Accommodations: Pleaes avoid major academic activities if possible and please excuse absences.
Holy Day: Assumption of Mary Dates: August 15th, 2014

Practitioners: Catholic/Christian

Description: Celebration of Mary's victory over sin and death when she was bodily assumed into heaven.

Celebrations: All Catholics are asked to attend Mass on this day.

Recommended Accommodations: Please remind Catholic students to plan ahead on Mass attendance so as not to miss academic expectations.
Holy Day: Raksha Bandhan Dates: August 10th, 2014 

Practitioners: Hindu

Description: A festival celebrating siblings.

Celebrations: Marked by tying a "holy thread" (a rakhi) by the sister on her brother's wrist. The brother in return offers a gift to the sister and vows to look after her.

Recommended Accommodations: None
Holy Day: Krishna Janmashtami Dates: August 17th, 2014

Practitioners: Hindu

Description: Celebrates the major deity Krishna's birth.

Celebrations: Fasting on day one along with all night chanting.

Recommended Accommodations: Please avoid major academic activities and please excuse absences.