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INTERFAITH CALENDAR1

Ash Wednesday

Wed., February 22, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity.  Ash Wednesday commemorates the first day of the Lenten Season, typically recognized as a day of fasting.

Great Lent

Wed., February 22 - Sun., April 2, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. The first day of Lent initiates the start of the Great Fast and marks the culminating six weeks out of a period of ten leading to Holy Week and Easter. Lent is a six week or 40 days (excluding Sundays) observance starting with Ash Wednesday and ending in Holy Week. The observance of Lent represents a time of sacrifice and atonement in preparation for the celebration of Easter.

Holi

March 6 -7, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Hindu. Holi celebrates the beginning of Spring and the victory of good over evil, light over darkness. It’s celebrated with colored powers, bright colors, and festival celebrations.

Purim

March 6 – March 7, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Purim commemorates the story of Esther in the Hebrew Bible.

Ramadan

Wed., Mar. 22 – Fri., Apr. 21, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Islam. Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting during which Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from dawn until sunset to honor the revelations of the Prophet Muhammad. At the end of the day during the evening, Muslim families share a meal and celebrate.

Palm Sunday

Sun., Apr. 2, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. Palm Sunday celebrates the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem and signifies the start of Holy Week. Palm Sunday ends on Easter. Some churches combine Palm Sunday with the expectancy of Christ’s death on Passion Sunday.  

Mahavir Jayanti

Tue., Apr. 4, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Jainism. Jainism is centered on the birthday of Lord Mahavira (born as Vardhamana) in approximately 599 BCE. He was honored with the titles of Mahavira meaning Great Hero and Jina signifying Conqueror or Victor.

Passover (Pesach)

Wed., Apr. 6 – Thu., Apr. 13, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Passover in Judaism marks the freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Passover is celebrated for eight days and involves special prayers and symbolic foods. Passover begins with the Seder, a ritual meal that symbolizes the freedom of the Jews under the guidance of God. The first and last day of the eight-day celebration are holidays.

Anniversary of the Founding of the Church

Thu., Apr. 6, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Annual World Conference is held on that Saturday and Sunday that are closest to this date.

Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday

Thu., Apr. 6, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday commemorates The Last Supper that took place prior to his arrest and finally his execution. The term “Maundy” comes from the Latin text of John 13:34 a new commandment (the mandatum novum). Protestants and Roman Catholics celebrate Holy Thursday on a different date than Orthodox Christians. Maundy Thursday is best known popular culture by Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper mural painting. 

Good Friday

Fri., Apr. 7, 2023

Religion Tradition: Christian. Good Friday is marked as the Passion of Jesus Christ which involves his death by crucifixion. Orthodox Christians observe Holy Friday on a date different than Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Easter Sunday

Sun., Apr. 9, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. The most important and oldest festival for Christians/Protestants is Easter Sunday which celebrates the resurrection from death of Jesus Christ. The observance initiates a 50-day period culminating in Pentecost. Easter Sunday is often observed on a different date than Orthodox Christians.

Palm Sunday

Sun., Apr. 9, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. The entry into Jerusalem marks the beginning of Holy Week for followers of Christianity-Orthodox.  Holy Week culminates with Easter or Pascha. Some churches combine Palm Sunday with the anticipation of Christ’s death and thus, is known as Passion Sunday.

Holy Thursday/Maundy Thursday

Thu., Apr. 13, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Orthodox Christian. Commemorates the institution of the Lord's Supper/the Eucharist by Jesus prior to his arrest and execution. "Maundy" is derived from the Latin text of John 13:34, in which Jesus gives a mandatum novum ("new commandment"). The date observed by Protestants and Roman Catholics differs from the date observed by Orthodox Christians.

Holy Friday

Fri., Apr. 14, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Orthodox Christian. Holy Friday commemorates the Passion of Jesus Christ which is related to his death by crucifixion. The Orthodox Christians know is as “Good Friday.”

Vaisakhi

Fri., Apr. 14, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Sikh: Vaisakhi which is primarily an agricultural festival takes place on the first day of the solar year.  The focus of the festival is on celebrating the harvest primarily celebrated in North India. It is named after the month of Vaisakh.

Easter Sunday

Sun., Apr. 16, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Orthodox Christian. Celebrates the resurrection from death of Jesus Christ. It is the oldest and most important festival in the Christian year and initiates the 50-day period culminating in Pentecost. Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians often observe Easter on a different date than Orthodox Christians.

Yom Hashoah  (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

Mon., Apr. 17, 2023 – April 18, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism: Yom Hashoah memorializes the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. Holocaust Remembrance Day emphasizes respect for human dignity and observance of day is not limited to Jews. The day of remembrance begins at sundown.

Eid al-Fitr ('Id al-Fitr)

Sat., Apr. 22, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Islam. Eid al-Fitr is also known the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. Eid celebrates the end of Ramadan which is a month-long period of fasting. It occurs on the first day of Shawal, the next lunar month

Ridvan

Thu., Apr. 20 – Tue., May 2, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Baha'i. The twelve days that Baha'u'llah spent in the Garden of Ridvan while he was exiled in Baghdad is commemorated during Ridvan. Work is suspended for the first, ninth, and twelve days during the period of commemoration.

Beltane

Sun., Apr. 30, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Wicca/Pagan. Beltane is a fertility festival that celebrates the Earth’s fruitfulness, the power of the sun, and the summer months.

Ghambar Maidyozarem

Sun., Apr. 30 – Thu., May 4, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Zoroastrianism.  Ghambar Maidyozarem is a celebration of the creation of the sky and harvesting of winter crops.

 

Ascension of Jesus

Thu., May 18, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity: Occurring 40 days after Easter, the Ascension of Jesus is a celebration of the ascent of Jesus into heaven and his ordination as universal sovereign. Protestant and Roman Catholics often observe the date different from (Eastern) Orthodox Christians.

Ascension of Jesus

Thu., May 25, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity-Orthodox The celebration of Jesus' ascension into heaven and enthronement as universal sovereign. It comes 40 days after Easter. The date observed by Protestants and Roman Catholics is often different from the date observed by Orthodox Christians.

Shavout

Fri., May 26 – Sat., May 27, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Shavout, or Feast of Weeks, commemorates revelation of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. In observance of Shavout, Jews are to abstain from creative work (melachot).

 

Wesak (Buddha Day)

Sat., May 27, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Buddhism. Wesak or Buddha Day is celebration of Buddha’s birthday, enlightenment, and parinirvana. Wesak is observed on the full moon of the sixth lunar month in Southeast Asian cultures. Buddha Day celebrations vary among Buddhist cultures and communities.

Ascension of Baha'u'llah

Sun., May 28, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Baha'i.  The Ascension of Baha'u'llah marks the anniversary of the death of the founder of the Baha'i faith. Work is suspended on this day.

Pentecost

Sun., May 28, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. Marking the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus following his ascension, Pentecost is commemorated as the "birthday" of the Christian church. It takes place 50 days after Easter (Pascha, Orthodox Easter). This commemoration is often observed on a different date by Orthodox Christians in contrast to Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians.

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji

Fri., June 16, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Sikhism (1563-1606). Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth Guru, built the Golden Temple of Amritsar to proclaim that the Sikh way was open to all, regardless of caste. To make that point, the temple was constructed with doors facing all four directions. Arjan is also remembered for his contributions to and compilation of the Sikh Scriptures.

 

Litha

Wed., June 21, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Wicca/Paganism. Litha is a celebration of the summer solstice, marking longest day; blessings of light; and the beginning of the sun god's death. Begins at sundown.

Eid al-Adha ('Id Al Adha)

Tue., June 27 – Sat., July 1, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Islam. Eid al-Adha is one of two main Islamic festivals which is observed on the 10th day of the lunar month of Zul-Hijja. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha is the concluding act of pilgrimage to Mecca. During the festival, sheep, goats, and camels are offered to God. The meat is then provided to the poor and needy.

Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his Brother Hyrum

Tue., June 27, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were assassinated in 1844 while incarcerated in Carthage, Illinois. This day marks the assassination and subsequent martyrdom of the Prophet.

Ghambar Maidyoshem

Thu., June 29 – Mon., July 3, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Zoroastrianism. This day celebrates the creation of water, the sowing of the summer crop, and the harvesting of grain.

Purim

March 6 – March 7, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Purim commemorates the story of Esther in the Hebrew Bible.

Dharma Day

Mon., July 3, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Buddhism. Commemorates the Buddha's first teaching following his enlightenment. The date and name of this Buddhist celebration varies significantly among cultures and communities.

Martyrdom of the Bab

Sun., July 9, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Baha'i. This day marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Bab, the forerunner of Baha'u'llah, in 1850. Work is suspended on this day.

First of Muharram (Ra's al-Sanat Al Hijrivah)

Tue., July 18, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Islam. The first day of the first month of the Islamic year commemorates the Hijra ("migration") of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. The day commemorates the establishment of the first Islamic community. Begins at sundown.

Pioneer Day

Mon., July 24, 2023

Religion/Tradition: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. On this day, Mormons observe the arrival of Brigham Young at the site of Salt Lake City, Utah in 1847.

Tisha B'Av

Wed., July 26, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. A day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. There are fasting and work restrictions during this time.

Ashurah ('Ashurah)

Thu., July 27, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Islam. Ashurah is a voluntary fast day for Sunni Muslims. The day marks important events that are believed to have occurred including Noah's leaving the Ark and the freedom and departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt. For Shi'i Muslims, the day is a time of mourning the martyrdom of Husain (the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad) on the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram.

Lammas/Lughnasa

Mon., July 31, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Wicca/Paganism. Lammas/Lughnasa celebrates the sacrifices of the Earth and the sun for the harvest and the diminishing strength of summer.

Raksha Bandan (Rakhi)

Wed., Aug. 30, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Hinduism. The Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love is known as Rakhi. It is celebrated on the full moon in the month of Sravana in the lunar calendar.

 

Krishna Janmashtami (Sri Krishna Jayanti or Janmashtami)

Wed., Sep. 6, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Hinduism. This day marks the birthday of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the God Vishnu. Worship of Krishna is characteristically expressed in dance and song.

Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

Fri., Sep. 8, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Christianity-Orthodox

Paryusana Festival

Mon., Sep. 11 – Tue., Sep. 19, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Jainism. Jains considered these eight days the holiest period of the year and is marked by fasting, meditation, prayer and public readings of the life story of Lord Mahavira. Paryusana is observed especially by the followers of the Shvetambara sect. The festival concludes on Samvatsari, the most solemn occasion of self-scrutiny and forgiveness when Jains ask for forgiveness from their relatives and friends.

Rosh Hashanah

Fri., Sep. 15 – Sun., Sep 17, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Rosh Hashanah is the start of the Jewish Calendrical Year (Jewish New Year). It is the first of the Jewish High Holidays for the year.

Yom Kippur

September 24 – September 25, 2023

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Yom Kippur is the considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur is known as the Day of Atonement, and is observed with fasting and prayer in alignment with repentance.

Hanukkah

Fri., Dec. 8 – Fri., Dec. 15

Religion/Tradition: Judaism. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival, lasting eight days commemorating the rededication of the Temple in 165 bc by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting consisting of nine flames, one of which is the shamash (“attendant”). On the first night of the festival, the first flame is used to kindle the other eight lights. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Hanukkah, all eight lights are kindled. Before the menorah is lit, special blessings are recited along with a traditional melody and the singing of traditional songs afterward. A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a window and door way.

Christmas

Mon., Dec 25

Religion/Tradition: Christianity. In the United States, Christmas was established as a federal holiday in 1870 as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the man Christians believe is the son of God.  It is a religious and cultural celebration that billions of people around the world both Christians and non-Christians observe and is considered a public holiday in many countries.  In Western Christianity the Christmas season runs from December 25 (Christmas Day) to January 5, also known as the 12 days of Christmas or in the Catholic religion- the Baptism of the Lord.  Christmas traditions for many nations include decorating a Christmas tree, installing lights on your house, caroling, Advent calendars, hanging stockings above the fireplace, the creation of Nativity scenes, sending Christmas cards, and exchanging presents. 

Kwaanza

Tue., Dec 26 – Mon., Jan 1

Religion/Tradition: Kwanzaa, celebrated primarily in the US from December 26 to January 1, is an annual holiday that affirms African American family and social values.

Both the name and the celebration were devised in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a professor of Africana studies at California State University in Long Beach. Each of the days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). On each day the family comes together to light one of the candles in the kinara, or candleholder, and to discuss the principle for the day. On December 31, families join in a community feast called the karamu.

DIVERSITY NEWS AT RVU

Happy Lunar New Year

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Happy Lunar New Year A message from David Paltza, University Registrar about celebrating the Lunar New Year. Happy Lunar New Year Some of you might be very familiar with the Lunar New Year commonly known as the Chinese New Year.  But did you know that it is actually widely celebrated […]

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Martin Luther King, Jr Day

January 11, 2023

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Message from the Provost | Recognition of Juneteenth

June 19, 2021

Message from the Provost | Recognition of Juneteenth [June 18, 2021 – Parker, CO] Dear RVU family, As we continue on our journey and understanding around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I wanted to take a moment to think about Juneteenth.  I have heard about Juneteenth, and had some […]

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