Religious Holy Day Policy and 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. To assist in identifying religious observance days, faculty members are encouraged to consult the illustrative list provided in the Interfaith Calendar. 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
Please visit this link for more religious holidays: INTERFAITH CALENDAR: Primary sacred times for world religions.
 

University of Miami Multifaith Religious Holiday Calendar

2020 DAYS HOLIDAY RELIGION
Aug. 11
Aug. 12
Sundown-Tue
Sundown-Wed
**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. 18
Sep. 20
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Rosh Hashanah (first 2 days)
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).
Judaism
Sep. 20
Sep. 21

Sun

Mon

Paryushana-Parva
Religious accommodations:
Jain students and employees may be fasting.
Jainism
Sep. 27
Sep. 28
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
**Yom Kippur
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Jewish students and employees may be fasting all day.
Judaism
Oct. 2
Oct. 4
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Sukkot (1st 2 days)
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on the first two days. Eve and first day are non-working for Reform Jews; Eve, first and second days are non-working for Orthodox Jews.
Judaism
Oct. 9
Oct. 11
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sun
**Shemini Atzeret
**Simchat Torah

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).
Judaism
Oct. 17
Oct. 26

Sundown-Sat

Sundown-Mon

Navaratri
Note: Some Hindus will pray and fast.
Hinduism
Oct. 19
Oct. 20
Sundown-Mon
Sundown-Tue
**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
Oct. 28
Oct. 29
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
Mawlid al-Nabi (dates can vary by a day)
Muslim students and employees may be fasting.
Islam
Nov. 11
Nov. 12
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
**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. 14 Sat Diwali (Deepavali)
Religious Accommodation:.
Hindu employees will likely request the day off on this date.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Nov. 29 Sat Advent Christian (RC, O, P)
Dec. 10
Dec. 18
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Hanukkah/Chanukah
Recommended Accommodations:
Academics and work permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply—potato pancakes, doughnuts or other fried food is customary).
Judaism
Dec. 24
Dec. 25

Thu

Fri

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

Sat

Fri

**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
2021 DAYS HOLIDAY RELIGION
Jan. 1 Fri Gantan-sai
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on this date (work holiday)
Shinto
Jan. 6 Wed Epiphany Christian (RC, O, P)
Jan. 7 Thu Feast of the Nativity (Christmas)
Religious accommodations: Many Eastern Orthodox employees will probably request this day off.
Orthodox Christian
Feb. 12 Fri **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
Feb. 17 Wed Ash Wednesday, Lent begins
(food accommodation as requested)
Christianity (RC, P)
Feb. 25
Feb. 26
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Purim
Recommended Accommodations: Purim is not subject to the restrictions on work that affect some other holidays; however, some sources indicate that Jews should not go about their ordinary business at Purim out of respect for the festival. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (kosher restrictions apply).
Judaism
Mar. 1
Mar. 19
Mon
Fri

**‘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. 15
May 1

Mon

Sat

Great Lent begins/Clean Mon
Note: Students and employees may be fasting.
Orthodox Christian
Mar. 27-29
Apr. 2-4
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
**Pesach/Passover (first two and last two days)
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—the use of leavening is prohibited so, for example, matzah is eaten in place of bread.)
Judaism
Mar. 28
Mar. 29
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
Holi – Festival of Colors (date may vary)
Note: Celebrated over 2 days by people throwing colored powder and colored water.
Hinduism
Mar. 28 Sun Palm Sunday
Recommended Accommodations:
Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Orthodox Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P, Eastern Orthodox)
Apr. 1 Thu Holy Thursday Christianity (RC, P, O)
Apr. 2 Fri Good Friday
Recommended Accommodations: Provide food accommodation as requested. Meat (fish not considered meat) is prohibited during meals for some.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 4 Sun Easter
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Christian employees that work on Suns may ask for this day off.
Christianity (RC, P)
Apr. 6 Tue Mahavira-Jayanti
Religious accommodation may be requested.
Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism
Apr. 8
Apr. 9
Sundown-Thu
Sundown-Fri
Yom HaSho’ah
Recommended Accommodations:
Academics and work are permitted. Provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).
Judaism
Apr. 12
May 11
Sundown-Mon
Sundown-Tue
**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. 20
Apr. 21
Sundown-Tue
Sundown-Wed
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. 28
Apr. 29
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
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 Fri 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 1
May 2
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
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 Sun 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 12
May 13
Sundown-Wed
Sundown-Thu
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 16
May 17
Sundown-Sun
Sundown-Mon
**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
May 22
May 23
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
Declaration of the Báb
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
May 28
May 29
Sundown-Fri
Sundown-Sat
Ascension of Baha’u’lláh
Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities. Work is suspended for Baha’is.
Bahá’í
July 17
July 18
Sundown-Sat
Sundown-Sun
**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

NOTE: this calendar is based on one provided by the Williams College Chaplains’ Office.