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Religious Holy Day Policy and Calendar

 
Click here for instructions on adding religious holidays to your Outlook calendar

 

 

Religious Holy Day Policy

 

The University of Miami, although a secular institution, is determined to accommodate those students who wish to observe religious holy days. It seeks to reflect its awareness of and sensitivity to religious holy days whenever possible when scheduling University activities. The following provisions are meant to apply equitably to all religious groups and to provide opportunities to all to meet their religious obligations.

  1. Except as specifically provided to the contrary, this policy is binding on all students in undergraduate programs.  Schools offering graduate or professional programs, including undergraduate professional programs, are strongly encouraged to adhere to these policies to the maximum extent practicable.

  2. Any student absent from class in observance of a religious holy day shall not be penalized in any way for an examination or assignment missed during the period of absence.  Absence in observance of a religious holy day does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence.  Students who are absent on days of examinations or class assignments shall be offered a reasonable opportunity to make up the work without penalty, if the student previously arranged to be absent.  Nothing in this policy shall preclude faculty members from limiting the number of student absences to a reasonable number of absences for any reason.  The faculty member has discretion to determine how the make-up obligation will be fulfilled.  A faculty member who penalizes a student contrary to these provisions may have committed unprofessional conduct, and thus may be subject to a complaint to the Committee on Professional Conduct under the provisions of Section B4.9 of the Faculty Manual.

  3. It is the student’s obligation to provide faculty members with notice of the dates they will be absent due to observance of religious holy days, preferably before the beginning of classes but no later than the end of the first three class days.  For religious holy days that fall within the first three class days, students must provide faculty members with notice no later than two class days before the absence.  Missing a class due to travel plans associated with a particular religious holy day does not constitute an excused absence.  Absences due to observance of religious holy days that are not pre-arranged with the relevant faculty member within the first three class days may be considered unexcused, and the faculty member may therefore prevent the student from making up examinations or assignments missed during the period of absence.

  4. Faculty members are encouraged to anticipate days when a substantial number of students will be absent for observance of religious holy days and should avoid scheduling examinations and assignment deadlines on those days. Faculty members are expected to reasonably assist students in obtaining class information the student missed during the period of absence in observance of a religious holy day. In that regard, faculty members are urged to allow taping or recording of the class session, with the reproduction limited to the student’s personal use, when a student misses a class due to observance of a religious holy day.  Faculty members are urged to remind students of their obligation to inform faculty members within the first three class days of any anticipated absences due to observance of religious holy days and should include that information in the syllabus or course requirements document for that course.

 

Multifaith Religious Holiday Calendar

 
The list that follows is not exhaustive. It includes notable festivals and holy days that may require appropriate accommodations for students and employees. (If this calendar does not include a significant date of your religious tradition, please contact umculture@miami.edu) Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate. Note that some holidays in some traditions are tied to the lunar calendar or to particular cultural patterns that vary by region ,which make their location in the calendar somewhat more fluid.
Dates marked with a double asterisk (**) denote occasions on which the precept of a particular tradition and the practice of nearly all its adherents includes significant restrictions on academic activity.
Islamic Holidays: Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.
For holidays associated with Christianity, the following notations are used to denote observance by particular strands of the Christian tradition:
RC-Roman Catholic
 
P-Protestant
 
O-Orthodox
Note for Jewish holidays: 
  • Jewish holidays begin at sunset and end at nightfall
  • The Jewish holidays fall out on various days of the week and typically change from year to
    year,
  • Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Shmini Atzeret always fall out on the same day of the week,
    making this month of holidays particularly challenging for both observing students and faculty.
  • Not all Jews observe holidays in the same way as there are different customs based on the
    Jewish community one identifies with.
 
This calendar has been reviewed by the UM Chaplain’s Association.
 

University of Miami Multifaith Religious Holiday Calendar

2021 HOLIDAY RELIGION
Aug. 30 **Sri Krishna Jayanti (date may vary)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines on this day, since it is likely that Hindu students will be operating on very little sleep. Some may fast during the first day.
Hinduism
Sep. 4 Paryushana-Parva
Religious accommodations:
Jain students and employees may be fasting.
Jainism
Sep. 6-8 **Rosh Hashanah (first 2 days)
48-hour Holiday that begins at sundown. The Holiday is typically observed with long prayers in Synagogue (Shul) and festive meals. Students may travel home,to relatives and friends and as a result may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices, studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers. Some members of the Jewish community only observe Rosh Hashanah for 24 hours.
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply). Since work is not allowed during the holiday, please allow ample time to make up assignments.
Judaism
Sep. 15-16 **Yom Kippur
Nearly 26-hour fast that begins at sundown. Holiday typically is observed with long prayers in Synagogue (Shul). A large festive-formal meal is eaten before fast begins typically 1-2 hour prior to sunset, followed by large festive break fasts when the holiday concludes.

Students may travel home, to relatives, and friends and may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices, studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers.
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Since work is not allowed during the holiday, please allow ample time to make up assignments
Judaism
Sep. 20-27 **Sukkot - Shmini Atzeret
GENERAL NOTE:
This is a 9 day Holiday which is bookended by Holy Days as explained below. During the intermittent days, known as Chol Hamoed students may attend class, study, and do school assignments.

Sukkot (also called Sukkos)
A week-long festival that begins at sundown where the first 48-hours are observed with long prayers in Synagogue (Shul) and festive meals in a temporary hut called a sukkah. Students may travel home, to relatives, and friends and as a result may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices ,studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers. Some members of the Jewish community only observe Sukkot for 24 hours.
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Since work is not allowed during the holiday, please allow ample time to make up assignments

Judaism

Sep. 27-29

**Shmini Atzeret - Simchat Torah (also called Shmini Atzeres – Simchas Torah)
48-hour holiday that begins at sundown. Holiday typically is observed with long prayers in Synagogue (Shul) and festive meals. Students may travel home,to relatives and friends and as a result may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices, studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers. Some members of the Jewish community only observe Shmini Atzeret - Simchat Torah for 24 hours.
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Since work is not allowed during the holiday, please allow ample time to make up assignments
Judaism
Oct. 7 - 15 Navaratri
Note: Some Hindus will pray and fast.
Hinduism
Oct. 18-19 Mawlid al-Nabi (dates can vary by a day)
Muslim students and employees may be fasting.
Islam
Nov. 4 Diwali (Deepavali)
Religious Accommodation:.
Hindu employees will likely request the day off on this date.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Nov. 6-7 **Birth of the Báb
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Baha’i employees suspend work on this day and will likely request to have this day off.
Bahá’í
Nov. 6-7 **Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Baha’i employees suspend work on this day and will likely request to have this day off.
Bahá’í
Nov. 28 -
Dec. 6
Hanukkah/Chanukah
Recommended Accommodations:
8 day Holiday is celebrated by lighting the Menorah, other customs include eating fried potato pancakes called latkes and fried donuts. One abstains from work while candles burn, typically one hour at nightfall during the 8 days of Chanukah. Otherwise, work is permitted.

Judaism
Dec. 24-25 Christmas
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Christian employees will likely request to have this day off.
Christianity (RC, P, O)
Dec. 26
Jan. 1
**Kwanzaa
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. African American employees will likely request to have this day off.
African American
2022 HOLIDAY RELIGION
Jan. 1 Gantan-sai
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on this date (work holiday)
Shinto
Jan. 7 Feast of the Nativity (Christmas)
Religious accommodations: Many Eastern Orthodox employees will probably request this day off.
Orthodox Christian
Feb. 1 **Chinese New Year
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Chinese employees may request this day off.
Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist
Mar. 2

Ash Wednesday, Lent begins

(food accommodation as requested)
Christianity (RC, P)
Mar. 2

**‘Alá’ (Loftiness)

19-day fast, sunrise to sunset each day. Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the date. Bahá’ís students and employees may be fasting.

Bahá’í

Mar. 7

Great Lent begins/Clean Monday
Note: Students and employees may be fasting.
Orthodox Christian
Mar. 16 -17 Purim
Recommended Accommodations: 24-hour holiday is celebrated with the reading of the Megillah (Book of Esther) on the eve and again during the day of Purim. Towards evening a festive meal is eaten. Work is permitted.
Judaism
Mar. 19 Holi – Festival of Colors (date may vary)
Note: Celebrated over 2 days by people throwing colored powder and colored water.
Judaism
Apr. 1-
Apr. 20
**Ramadan begins
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling major academic deadlines during this time. Be sensitive to the fact that students and employees celebrating Ramadan will be fasting during the day (continuously for 30 days) and will likely have less stamina as a result. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).
Islam
Apr. 15 Good Friday
Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested. Meat (fish not considered meat) is prohibited during meals for some.
Christianity (RC, P, Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 15-23 **Pesach/Passover (first two and last two days)
An 8 Day Holiday, bookended by two 48-hour Holidays.
 
1st 48-hour Holiday begins on the eve at Sunset with a Seder – and Festive meal which can stretch for a few hours. Additionally, Holiday is observed with prayers in Synagogue (Shul) and festive meals. Students may travel home,to relatives and friends and as a result may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices, studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers.
 
2nd set of 48 hours begins on the eve at Sunset of the 7th day. Holiday typically is observed with prayers in Synagogue (Shul) and festive meals. Students may travel home,to relatives and friends and as a result may miss classes starting earlier in the day. Some students may refrain from using electronic devices, studying and or writing, editing or handing in papers.
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on these dates. Since work is not allowed during
Judaism
Apr. 10 Palm Sunday
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Sundays may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 14 Mahavira-Jayanti
Religious accommodation may be requested.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Apr. 17 Easter
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Christian employees that work on Sundays may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 21 Ridván (1st day) of Most Great Festival
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Baha’i
Apr. 24 Easter/Pascha
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Sundayss may ask for this day off.
Orthodox Christian
Apr. 27-28 Yom HaSho’ah
Recommended Accommodations:
Academics and work are permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).
Judaism
Apr. 29 Ridván (9th day)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
Apr. 30 Holy Friday
Recommended Accommodations: Great Friday is a strict day of fasting for many Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States. It is suggested to avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities.
Orthodox Christian
May 2 Ridván (12th day)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the 1st day, 9th day, and 12th day of Ridván as work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
May 2 Easter/Pascha
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Orthodox Christian
May 2, 3 Eid al-Fitr (date can vary by a day)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Employees will likely ask to take a vacation day on this day, and that request should be granted if at all possible. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).
Islam
May 23 Declaration of the Báb
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
May 29 Ascension of Baha’u’lláh
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
Jun. 4-6 **Shavuot
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first two and last two days of the holiday. Provide food accommodation as requested. (Kosher restrictions apply—although it is customary to eat dairy).
Judaism
Aug. 5-6 **Tisha B’ Av
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Jewish students and employees may be fasting all day.
Judaism