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: Hanukkah Dates: December 16th-24th, 2014

Practitioners: Jewish

Description: A jewish holiday commemorationg the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Maccabean Revolt (2nd century BCE).

Celebrations: Additions to daily prayer and evening festivities generally occure during each of the 8 days/evenings.

Recommended Accommodations: Please be sensitive to accomodation requests.
Holy Day: Buddha's Enlightenment Dates: December 8th, 2014

Practitioners: Buddhist

Description: Holiest celebration which ends the longest and most important retreat of the year as practictioners commemorate the day Buddha achieved Nirvana.

Celebrations: Services and traditions vary from sect to sect but all celebrate the day Buddha achieved Nirvana.

Recommended Accommodations: Please excuse absences, possibly for preceeding week for retreat.
Holy Day: Immaculate Conception Dates: December 8th, 2014

Practitioners: Catholic/Christian

Description: A day to commemorate the tradition of Mary's own conception without sin by the grace of God.

Celebrations: Catholics are asked to celebrate this day by attending Mass with their community.

Recommended Accommodations: Please remind Catholics to find a time to celebrate Mass that will not conflict with academic expectations.
Holy Day: Al-Hajira/Muharam Dates: December 15th, 2013 

Practitioners: Muslim

Description: This is the Islamic New Year, marking the Hira in 622 CE when the prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina, setting up the first Islamic state

Celebrations: No specificic rituals or celebrations for this day.

Recommended Accommodations: None.
Holy Day: Christmas Dates: December 25th, 2014

Practitioners: Christian

Description: Commemorates the day the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, was born miraculously through the womb of a virgin.

Celebrations: Many Christians celebrate this day by attending worship services and spending time with family.

Recommended Accommodations: Please excuse absences.