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Religious, Heritage, and Cultural Observances

Increasing our knowledge of the diverse cultural, historical, and faith traditions of our patients, faculty members, staff members and students helps strengthen our relationships with each other and positively impacts the quality of patient care.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy, and Marketing and Communications have created a Religious, Cultural, and Heritage Observances Toolkit to provide general education and information about these important observances, and how they may impact interactions with colleagues, students, and patients and their family members.

Use these fact sheets as guides for supporting our patients, staff members, faculty members and students. Please keep in mind that they are intended to provide a general overview, and the information may not apply to all individuals in any given culture or faith.

For additional information, or to recommend additional religious or cultural observances we should highlight, please contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at or Paula Teague, senior director of the Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy, at


Religious, Heritage, and Cultural Observances



Orthodox ChristmasJan. 7
Makar SankrantiJan. 14
Lunar New YearJan. 28


Maha ShivaratriFeb. 25
Orthodox Christian Great LentFeb. 27-April 16


Ash Wednesday and Lent - Eastern and Western TraditionsMarch 1
PurimMarch 11-12
HoliSunset March 12-Sunset March 13
Naw-RuzMarch 20-21
Ugadi/GudiMarch 28


Palm SundayApril 9
Passover/PesachApril 10-18
Memorial Day for Jehovah's WitnessesApril 11
VaisakhiSunset April 13-Sunset April 14
Good FridayApril 14
EasterApril 16
Festival of RidvanSunset April 20-Sunset May 2


Buddhist Visakha PujaMay 10
RamadanSunset May 26-Sunset June 25
ShavuotMay 30-June 1


Eid-al FitrSunset June 24-Sunset June 28


Thiru Aadi PooramJuly 26


Krishna JanmashtamiAug. 15
Dormition of the TheotokosAug. 15
Eid al-Adha and ArafahSunset Aug. 31-Sunset Sept. 4


National Hispanic Heritage MonthSept. 15-Oct. 15
Rosh HashanahSept. 20-22
NavratiSept. 20-30
Al-Hijra/MuharramSept. 21-Oct. 19
MabonSept. 22
Taoist Festival Honoring Shen of Winds, West and AutumnSept. 23
Yom KippurSept. 29-30
AshuraSunset Sept. 30-Sunset Oct. 1


National Disability Employment Awareness MonthOct. 1-Oct.31
Chinese Celebration of the Mid-Autumn FestivalOct. 4
SukkotOct. 4-11
Simchat TorahOct. 12-13
Double Ninth FestivalOct. 17
DiwaliOct. 19
SamhainSunset Oct. 31-Sunset Nov. 1


National Native American Heritage MonthNov. 1-30
Advent and Nativity FastNativity Fast begins on Nov. 15
Advent begins four Sundays prior to Christmas


HanukkahDec. 12-20
Yalda (Winter Solstice)Sunset Dec. 20-Sunset Dec. 21
Winter SolsticeDec. 21
Dongzhi FestivalDec. 22
ChristmasDec. 25
KwanzaaDec. 26-Jan. 1