Supporting Cultural Diversity

Susquehanna University provides this list of holidays to help faculty, staff and students better understand the diversity of observances by students. Please note that individual practices may vary.

Use the list for planning co-curricular activities, being mindful of observances or learning more about the rich religious and cultural diversity that exists at Susquehanna.

If a student anticipates a religious/spiritual observance may conflict with academic obligations such as attending class, taking examinations or submitting assignments, work directly with your professor to make reasonable arrangements. Should you require additional support or guidance, reach out to the Religious and Spiritual Life Office or SU Jewish Life.

This calendar is not an exhaustive list of religious traditions, cultural heritage holidays or all days observed by Susquehanna. If you would like to recommend a religious tradition or holiday of significance be added or offer a correction, contact the Religious and Spiritual Life Office for consideration.


Multifaith and Cultural Heritage Holidays
Date
Holiday
Description
Observances
Date: Nov 27 until Dec 24
Holiday: Advent
Description:

A period of four weeks in which Christians prepare for Christmas and meditate on the end of all time. In Western churches, the first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian liturgical year. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:
Date: Dec 18 until Dec 26
Holiday: Hanukkah
Description:

The Feast of Lights (Feast of Dedication) is celebrated for eight days to commemorate the rededication of the Temple, following the Jews’ victory over occupying forces in 165 BCE, which re-established their religious and political freedom. Begins at sundown on December 18 and ends at sundown on Dec. 26. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

University Closed for Winter Break

Date: Dec 21
Holiday: Yule/Solstice
Description:

In Wicca/Paganism, Yule or Winter Solstice, celebrating the longest night and the blessings of darkness as well as the rebirth of the sun god. Begins at sundown.

Accommodation:

University Closed for Winter Break

Date: Dec 25
Holiday: Christmas
Description:

Celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Jesus.

Accommodation:

University Closed for Winter Break

Date: Dec 26 until Jan 1
Holiday: Kwanzaa
Description:

An annual celebration of African American culture and based on the Seven Principles of Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity) and Imani (faith).

Accommodation:

University Closed for Winter Break

Date: Jan 7
Description:

Celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Jesus. Orthodox Christians holidays are celebrated about two weeks later than Roman Catholic and Protestant holidays because of their use of the Julian calendar as opposed to the Julian calendar in the West.

Accommodation:

Some students travel home to celebrate with family.

Date: Jan 22
Description:

Celebrated in East and Southeast Asia, marking the beginning of the new year based on lunisolar calendar. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some students travel home to celebrate with family.

Date: Feb 22
Holiday: Ash Wednesday
Description:

A special day of repentance observed by Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians to mark the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period (excluding Sundays) of prayer, repentance, and self-denial preceding Easter. The name derives from the practice of marking of the faithful with ashes to signify penitence. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some students don ashes on their forehead.

Date: Mar 6 until Mar 7
Holiday: Purim
Description:

Celebrates Jewish tenacity and survival through the reading of the Book of Esther. This political farce uses a story about Jews in ancient Persia using subterfuge and faith to overturn a plot to destroy them. Purim is a joyous holiday, celebrated by wearing of costumes, giving gifts to friends, giving to the poor, and socializing. Begins at sundown on March 6 and ends at sundown on March 7. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some students have religious obligations the first evening and morning.

Date: Mar 8
Holiday: Holi
Description:

A joyous spring Hindu festival that is dedicated to Krishna in some parts of India; in other parts of India, it is dedicated to Kama, the God of Pleasure. People throw colored water or colored powder in celebration. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some students travel home to celebrate with family.

Date: Mar 20
Holiday: Ostara
Description:

In Wicca/Paganism, the Spring or Vernal Equinox, celebrating the equivalence of light and dark and the arrival of Spring.

Accommodation:
Date: Mar 22 until Apr 21
Holiday: Ramadan
Description:

The Holy Month of Ramadan is the month of fasting during which Muslims who are physically able do not eat or drink from the first sign of dawn until sunset in honor of the first revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. The evening meal is celebrated with family. Begins at sundown on March 22 and ends at sundown on April 21. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

It is traditional to fast from sunrise to sunset. Sensitivity to the needs of fasting students is appropriate.

Date: Apr 5 until Apr 13
Holiday: Passover
Description:

Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It is celebrated for eight days with special prayers and symbolic foods at home, starting with the Seder, a ritual meal that re-enacts that ancient deliverance and emphasizes the freedom of the Jews under the guidance of God. Begins at sundown on April 5 and ends at sundown on April 13. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some student have religious obligations the first evening and the first two days and last two days. 

Date: Apr 6
Description:

Christian commemoration of 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”). (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:
Date: Apr 7
Holiday: Good Friday
Description:

Christian commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ (his death by crucifixion).

Accommodation:

Some students attend religious services during the day.

Date: Apr 9
Holiday: Easter
Description:

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. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:
Date: Apr 14
Holiday: Baisakhi
Description:

Baisakhi, also spelled Vaisakhi, one of the most important festivals for the Sikh religion, is an ancient spring harvest festival. Sikhs mark the occasion by going to Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship, for a service, involving singing, bhangra dancing and Sikh martial arts called gatka.

Accommodation:

Some students travel home to celebrate with family.

Date: Apr 16
Description:

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. Orthodox Christians holidays are celebrated about two weeks later than Roman Catholic and Protestant holidays because of their use of the Julian calendar as opposed to the Julian calendar in the West. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:
Date: Apr 17 until Apr 18
Description:

Memorializes the six million Jews who died as victims of the Nazis during World War II and emphasizes respect for human dignity. Its observance is not limited to Jews. Begins at sundown on April 17 and ends at sundown on April 18. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:
Date: Apr 21 until Apr 22
Holiday: Eid al-Fitr
Description:

Also known as the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. One of the two main Islamic festivals (the other is Eid al-Adha), this day celebrates the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. It comes on the first day of the next lunar month, Shawal. Begins at sundown on April 21 and ends at sundown on April 22. (Note: dates change every year)

Accommodation:

Some students travel home to celebrate with family.

Date: Jun 19
Holiday: Juneteenth
Description:

A federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Also called Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day and Black Independence Day.

Accommodation:

University Closed