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Religious and Cultural Observances

Expanding our knowledge of the diverse cultural and faith traditions of our patients, faculty members, staff members and students helps strengthen our relationships with one another and positively impacts the quality of patient care.

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity and the Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy have created a Religious and Cultural Observances Toolkit to provide general 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, Inclusion and Health Equity at or Paula Teague, senior director of the Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy, at

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Religious and Cultural Observances Toolkit

Religous & Cultural Observance DayDate


New Year's DayJan 1
Epiphany (Three Kings Day)Jan 6
Orthodox ChristmasJan 7
Makar SankrantiJan 14
Martin Luther King Jr. DayJan 18
Guru Gobind Singh JayantiJan 20


National African American History Month 
Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)Feb 12
LosarFeb 12-14
President's DayFeb 15
Ash Wednesday and Lent - Eastern and Western TraditionsFeb 17
PurimFeb 25-26
Ayyám-i-Há Baha'iFeb 25-28


National Women's History Month 
Month of Fast Baha'iMar 1-19
Maha ShivaratriMar 11
Clean Monday (Lent Begins for Eastern Orthodox Churches)Mar 15
St. Patrick's DayMar 17
Nowruz/Naw-Ruz (Iranian New Year)Mar 20
Taoist Festival honoring the Shen of Water, East and SpringMar 20
Memorial Day for Jehovah's WitnessesMar 27
Passover/PesachMar 27-Apr 4
Palm SundayMar 28
Tao-te Tien-tsun (High Pure One)Mar 28
HoliMar 28-29
Transgender Day of VisibilityMar 31


Good Friday/Holy FridayApr 2
Easter (Western Christianity)Apr 4
Qingming FestivalApr 4
Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)Apr 8-9
Ramadan (Month of Fasting)Apr 12-May 11
Ugadi/Gudi Padwa (Hindu)Apr 13
VaisakhiApr 14
Festival of RidvanApr 19-May 1


Jewish American Heritage Month
National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

BeltaneMay 1
EasterMay 2
Cinco de MayoMay 5
Eid-al FitrMay 12-13
Armed Forces DayMay 15
ShavuotMay 16-18
Declaration of the Báb Baha'iMay 23
Pentecost (Western Christianity)May 23
Buddhist Visakha PujaMay 26
Ascension of Bahá’u’lláhMay 28
Memorial DayMay 31


Caribbean-American Heritage Month
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month

Dragon Boat FestivalJun 14
JuneteenthJun 19
Pentecost (Eastern Orthodox)Jun 20
Taoist Festival honoring Shang-TiJun 21


Independence DayJul 4
Martyrdom of the Báb Baha'iJul 9
Eid al-AdhaJul 19-20


Al-Hijra/MuharramAug 9-10
Thiru Aadi PooramAug 11
Dormition of the TheotokosAug 15
AshuraAug 18-19
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi)Aug 22
Krishna JanmashtamiAug 30


Hispanic Heritage MonthSep 15-Oct 15
Labor DaySep 6
Rosh HashanahSep 6-8
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin MarySep 8
Exaltation of the Holy CrossSep 14
Yom KippurSep 15-16
SukkotSep 20-22
Chinese Celebration of the Mid-Autumn FestivalSep 21
Mabon (Autumnal Equinox)Sep 22
Taoist Festival honoring Shen of Winds, West, AutumnSep 22
Simchat TorahSep 27-29


German American Heritage Month
Italian American Heritage Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Polish American Heritage Month
NavratriOct 6-14
Double Ninth Festival (Chinese)Oct 14
VijayadashamiOct 15
SamhainOct 31-Nov 1


National Native American Heritage Month 
All Saints' DayNov 1
Dia de los MuertosNov 1-2
Diwali (Indian Festival of Lights)Nov 3-4
Twin Holy DaysNov 5-7
Veterans DayNov 11
Transgender Day of RemembranceNov 20
Day of the CovenantNov 25
Thanksgiving DayNov 25
American Indian Heritage DayNov 26
Ascension of Abdu'l-Bahá Baha'iNov 28
HanukkahNov 28-Dec 6
AdventNov 28-Dec 24
Nativity FastNov 28-Jan 6


Dongzhi FestivalDec 21
Yalda (Winter Solstice)Dec 21
YuleDec 21-Jan 1
HumanLightDec 23
Christmas DayDec 25
KwanzaaDec 26-Jan 1
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