Religious Holy Day Calendar
Provost’s Policy Accommodating Students’ Religious Observances
Georgetown University promotes respect for all religions. Any student who is unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, presentation, or assignment on a given day because of the observance of a major religious holiday (see below) or related travel shall be excused and provided with the opportunity to make up, without unreasonable burden, any work that has been missed for this reason and shall not in any other way be penalized for the absence or rescheduled work. Students will remain responsible for all assigned work. Students should notify professors in writing at the beginning of the semester of religious observances that conflict with their classes. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with Campus Ministry and the Registrar, will publish, before classes begin for a given term, a list of major religious holidays likely to affect Georgetown students. The Provost and the Main Campus Executive Faculty encourage faculty to accommodate students whose bona fide religious observances in other ways impede normal participation in a course. Students who cannot be accommodated should discuss the matter with an advising dean.
Sunday is the principle day of worship for most Christian communities. Many Christian denominations ask their members to refrain from unnecessary work on Sundays in order to render worship, to experience the joy of the Lord’s Day, and to relax both the body and mind. Roman Catholics are obliged, on Sundays and other holy days of obligation, to attend Mass, which is offered at a variety of times in the chapels of the University and at Catholic parishes.
Eastern Orthodox Christians follow either the Julian or the Gregorian calendar. Thus, religious observances may vary among Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Dharmic days of observance are calculated according to both the solar and lunar calendars and are also specific to the location of the communities, so the dates for a given festival may vary across the globe. The dates given above are for major festivals, though there are numerous other festivals, fasts, and commemorations that may be observed by practitioners of the Śaiva, Śākta, Vaiṣṇava, Smārta, Sanātanī/Hindu, Jain, Buddha, and Sikh Dharmas throughout the year. The luni-solar calendars are released annually at the New Year (Spring) and will include minor adjustments to festival dates due to any changes in the angle of the Earth’s rotation. As such, the calendar above is for guidance purposes only.
Jewish holy days begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed. The Jewish Sabbath occurs weekly and is the holiest day of the Jewish liturgical year. The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday evening and concludes on Saturday evening. It commemorates the seventh day of creation. The Torah teaches that on the seventh day, God rested from, and rejoiced in, the work of creation. Traditionally, Jews do not perform any work during this time, and Jews of a range of observance practices (or denominations) commemorate the Sabbath in some way.
Muslim holy days are calculated on a lunar calendar and are thus approximate. Muslims are mandated by the teachings of Islam to attend a prayer service every Friday, and are not allowed to attend to work-related issues during the time of the prayers. Friday prayer (or Jum’ah prayer) starts at 1:30 PM and ends at 2:10 PM.
Students may ask for travel time to return home for the beginning of religious observance.