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Religious and Cultural Observances

Increasing our knowledge of the diverse cultural 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 and the Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy have created a Religious and Cultural Observances Toolkit to provide general education and information about cultural and religious 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 More Information

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

Import the Calendar

  • For Outlook

    1. Save the document with the .ics extension
    2. Open Outlook
    3. Click File
    4. Click Open & Import
    5. Click Import/Export
    6. Click Import an iCalendar (.ics) or vCalendar file (.vcs)
    7. Select appropriate document
    8. When message appears Do you want to open this calendar as a new calendar or import its items into your calendar?, select Import

  • For Google Calendar

    1. Save the document with the .cvs extension
    2. Go to Settings
    3. Select Settings
    4. Click on Calendars
    5. Click Import Calendar
    6. Select appropriate document
    7. Click Import
    8. After you are done, click on Back to Calendar

Download for Outlook Download for Google Calendar

Religious and Cultural Observances Toolkit

Purim placeholder Buddhist Visaka Puja Ashura Orthodox Christianity Great Lent Festial of Ridvan


New Year's DayJan. 1
Epiphany (Three Kings Day)Jan. 6
Orthodox ChristmasJan. 7
Makar SankrantiJan. 14
Martin Luther King Jr. DayJan. 15


African American History Month 
Maha ShivaratriFeb. 13
Ash Wednesday and Lent - Eastern and Western TraditionsFeb. 14
Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)Feb. 16
President's DayFeb. 19
Great LentFeb. 19-April 7


National Women's History Month 
PurimEvening Feb. 28-Evening March 1
HoliEvening March 1-Evening March 2
Tao-te Tien-tsun (High Pure One)March 5
St. Patrick's DayMarch 17
Ugadi/GudiMarch 18
Norooz/Naw-Ruz (Iranian New Year)Evening March 20-Evening March 21
Taoist Festival honoring the Shen of Water, East and SpringMarch 21
Maryland DayMarch 25
Palm SundayMarch 25
Good Friday/Holy FridayMarch 30
Memorial Day for Jehovah's WitnessesMarch 31
Passover/PesachEvening March 30-Evening April 7


EasterApril 1
Qingming FestivalApril 5
VaisakhiApril 13
Festival of RidvanEvening April 20-Evening May 2


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month 
BeltaneMay 1
Cinco de MayoMay 5
Ramadan (Month of Fasting)Evening May 16-Evening June 14
Armed Forces DayMay 19
ShavuotEvening May 19-Evening May 21
Memorial DayMay 28
Buddhist Visakha PujaMay 29


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month 
Eid-al FitrEvening June 14-Evening June 15
Dragon Boat FestivalJune 18
Taoist Festival honoring Shang-TiJune 21


Independence DayJuly 4


ThiruaadipooramAug. 13
Dormition of the TheotokosAug. 15
Eid al-Adha and ArafahEvening Aug. 22-Evening Aug. 23


Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct.15) 
Krishna JanmashtamiSept. 3
Labor DaySept. 3
Rosh HashanahEvening Sept. 9-Evening Sept. 11
Al-Hijra/MuharramSept. 11
Yom KippurEvening Sept. 18-Evening Sept. 19
AshuraSept. 20
Taoist Festival honoring Shen of Winds, West, AutumnSept. 23
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)Sept. 23
SukkotEvening Sept. 23-Evening Sept. 30
Chinese Celebration of the Mid-Autumn FestivalSept. 24


National Disability Employment Awareness Month 
Simchat TorahEvening Oct. 1-Evening Oct. 2
VijayadashamiOct. 8
NavratriOct. 9-18
National Coming Out DayOct. 11
Double Ninth Festival (Chinese)Oct. 17
Twin Holy DaysOct. 29-30
SamhainEvening Oct. 31-Evening Nov. 1
Dia de los MuertosEvening Oct. 31-Nov. 2


National Native American Heritage Month 
All Saint's DayNov. 1
Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights)Evening Nov. 6-Evening Nov. 7
Veterans DayNov. 11
Thanksgiving DayNov. 22
American Indian Heritage DayNov. 23
Advent and Nativity FastNov. 28-Jan. 6


HanukkahEvening Dec. 2-Evening Dec. 10
Yalda (Winter Solstice)Evening Dec. 20-Evening Dec. 21
Winter SolsticeDec. 21
Dongshi FestivalDec. 22
HumanLightDec. 23
Christmas DayDec. 25
KwanzaaDec. 26-Jan. 1