University of Southern California

Office of Religious Life

Fostering a vibrant university community of spiritual reflection and free inquiry

Religious Life at USC

Holy Days Calendar

Ecclesiastical year begins - Orthodox Christian

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09/01/2015: all day

The way a Christian Church arranges a calendar of time and sets dates of special importance.

Krishna Janmashtami - Hindu

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09/05/2015: all day

Hindu commemoration of the birth of Krishna - the 8th incarnation of the god Vishnu who took the form of Krishna to destroy the evil king Kansa.

Nativity of Mary - Christian

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09/08/2015: all day

A Christian celebration of the birth of the Virgin Mary.

Holy Cross Day - Christian

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09/14/2015: all day

A Christian day of recognition for the Cross on which Jesus was crucified as a central symbol of the Christian religion.

Rosh Hashanah - Jewish

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09/14/2015 - 09/15/2015: all day

Jewish New Year. Begins at sundown on the 13th. A time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and penitence. The story of Abraham is read, the ram's horn is sounded, and special foods are prepared and shared.

Paryushana Parva - Jain

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09/18/2015: all day

Jain 8 day fesitval signifying human emergence into a new world of spiritual and moral refinement. Marked by recitations from Jain sacred writing and family exchange of cards and letters. Celebration of the natural qualities of the soul. The 8th day (Samvatsari) is most important and is forcused on forgiveness.

Waqf al Arafa - Hajj - Islam

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09/22/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 21st. Islamic observance day during Hajj when pilgrims pray for forgiveness and mercy.

Mabon - Wicca/Pagan

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09/23/2015: all day

Wicca observance of the autumnal equinox when day and night are of equal length. A harvest festival time.

Eid al Adha - Sacrifice Day - Islam

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09/23/2015 - 09/26/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 22nd. Islamic Fesitval of Sacrifice. The day after Arafat, the most important day in the Hajj ritual. A three-day festival recalling Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah.

Yom Kippur - Jewish

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09/23/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 22nd. Jewish Day of Atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance.

Meskel - Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

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09/27/2015: all day

Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Christian commemoration of the discovery of the True Cross by Queen Eleni (St. Helena) in the 4th century a.d.

Sukkot - Jewish

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09/28/2015 - 10/04/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 27th. Jewish Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the harvest and protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents. Temporary dwelling places have leaves for a roof so the sky can be seen. In temperate climates, night is spent in the Succoth.

Saint Francis Day - Christian

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10/04/2015: all day

Christian recognition of service to people and appreciation of the natural world, as practiced by St. Francis and the Franciscan Monastic Order which he founded.

Shemini Atzeret - Jewish

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10/05/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 4th. Jewish completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.

Simchat Torah - Jewish

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10/06/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 5th. Jewish day to celebrate the reading of the law. Synagogue services involve readings, processions and blessing of the children.

Navaratri - Hindu

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10/13/2015 - 10/21/2015: all day

Hindu Festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.

Hijra - New Year - Islam

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10/14/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 13th. The emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 615 c.e.

Birth of the Bab - Baha'i

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10/20/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 19th. Baha'i honoring of the founder of the Babi religion, forerunner to Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i faith.

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth - Sikh

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10/20/2015: all day

Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, are honored as perpetual Guru.

Dasara (Dussehra) - Hindu

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10/22/2015: all day

Hindu celebration of victory and valor. Lord Rama is remembered as winning a victory over evil.

Saint George Day - Christian

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10/23/2015: all day

Christian remembrance of a person who, in the 4th century, was a martyr and became an ideal of martial valor and selflessness. Legend of killing a dragon is connected with this patron saint of England.

Ashura - Islam

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10/23/2015: all day

An Islamic optional one day fast. The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad's Grandson, Hussein, martyred on this date in 683/684 AD at the battle of Kerbala. Sunni observance is a recognition of Moses fasting in gratitude to Allah/God for liberation from oppression.

Reformation Day - Protestant Christian

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10/25/2015: all day

Protestant Christian anniversary of their tradition and its emphasis on the place of the Bible and religious Freedom. On October 31, 1517 c.e. Martin Luther posted a belief statement on Wittenbeg Church door. The date of public observation is the Sunday before October 31.

Milvain Bridge Day - Christian

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10/28/2015: all day

Christian day of solemn reflection on the relationship of the spiritual community and the powers of civil government. On October 28, 312 c.e., Emperor Constantine prevailed in a battle and proceeded to make Christianity the legal religion of the Roman Empire.

All Hallow's Eve - Christian

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10/31/2015: all day

Christian celebration of mystery combining prayers and merriment involving children and families. It is a prelude to All Saint's Day.

All Saints Day - Christian

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11/01/2015: all day

Christian day for honoring saints, known and unknown. In general, saints are persons with a repulation for unusual lives of holiness and devotion to God or who were martyred for their faith. A Holy Day of Obligation in the Roman Catholic Church where saints have special formal status.

Samhain - Beltane - Pagan/Wicca

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11/01/2015: all day

Wicca celebration of endings and beginnings and of remembering the dead..Revering of elders is also observed. Begins at sundown on October 31.

All Souls Day - Catholic Christian

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11/02/2015: all day

Christian day of prayers of remembrance and intercession for the dead. Prayers of the faithful are seen as helping to cleanse the souls for the beatific vision of God in heaven.

Deepavali - Hindu

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11/09/2015 - 11/13/2015: all day

Hindu celebration - a five day festival of lights marking the end of the Hindu year. First day is observed as a holiday by many Hindu People.

Diwali - Hindu - Jain - Sikh

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11/11/2015: all day

Hindu Festival of Lights symbolizing the human urge to move toward the light. Gift exchanges, fireworks and festive meals.

Birth of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i

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11/12/2015: all day

Baha'i celebration of the birth of their founder and teacher. Refrain from work. Begins at sundown on November 11.

New Year -- Jain

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11/12/2015: all day

Christ the King - Christian

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11/22/2015: all day

Christian celebration of the preeminence of Jesus over all earthly authorities.

Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom - Sikh

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11/24/2015: all day

Sikh time of remembering the execution of Tegh Bahadur by the Moghul Emperor in India.

Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday - Sikh

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11/25/2015: all day

Sikh honoring of the birth of the first Sikh teacher who lived from 1469 - 1539 c.e. Sacred readings, prayers, hymns, meals together.

Thanksgiving - Interfaith USA

11/26/2015: all day

Interfaith celebration of the created earth. Celebrated in the USA.

Day of the Covenant - Baha'i

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11/26/2015: all day

Baha'i day of celebration of the covenant given in the last will and testament of Baha'u'llah.

Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha - Baha'i

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11/28/2015: all day

Baha'i celebration of the rising of the spirit of Abdu'l-Baha to the heavenly dwelling.

Advent - Christian

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11/29/2015: all day

Christian time of preparation for observing the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest November 30 and is the beginning of the Christian worship year. Advent is observed with the lighting of advent candles, display of wreaths, and special ceremonies. Advent also anticipates the coming again to earth of Jesus Christ. The season continues through December 24.

Saint Andrew's Day - Christian

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11/30/2015: all day

Saint Nicholas Day - Christian

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12/06/2015: all day

Christian celebration of the birth of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children and role model for gift giving. Many churches are named for this saint who is also the Dutch version of Santa Claus.

Hanukkah - Judaism

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12/07/2015 - 12/14/2015: all day

Jewish festival of lights. It commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165-164 b.c.e. Special readings and praise songs focus on liberty and freedom. The eight candle Menorah is lighted. Begins at sundown on the 6th.

Immaculate - Catholic Christian

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12/08/2015: all day

Catholic Christian day of celebrating the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was peserved from original sin all of her life. A day of obligation and required church attendance.

Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) - Buddhist

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12/08/2015: all day

Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Buddha.

Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe - Catholic Christian

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12/12/2015: all day

Catholic Christian honoring of a legendary appearance of the Virgin Mary near Mexico City in 1531 c.e.

Posadas Navidenas - Christian

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12/16/2015 - 12/25/2015: all day

Hispanic Christian feast of the Lodgings commemorating the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in preparation for the birth of Jesus.

Yule - Christian

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12/21/2015: all day

A celebration of the light dawning in Jesus.

Yule - Wicca/Pagan

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12/21/2015: all day

A Norse Pagan celebration of the winter-born king, symbolized by the rebirth of the sun. A present day Wicca event.

Mawlid an Nabi - Islam

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12/23/2015: all day

Islamic commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, in about 570 c.e. The prophet's teachings are read and religious meetings are held. Shia and Sunni on separate days. Begins at sundown on the 22nd.

Christmas Eve - Christian

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12/24/2015: all day

Christian celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It is observed with worship, candlelighting, manager scenes and festive meals.

Christmas - Christian

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12/25/2015: all day

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties.

Zarathosht Diso - Zoroastrian

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12/26/2015: all day

Zoroastrian anniversary of the death of Prophet Zarathushtra.

Holy Innocents - Christian

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12/28/2015: all day

Christian day of solemn memory of male children killed by King Herod in the attempt to destroy Jesus.

Birth of Guru Gobind Singh - Sikh

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01/05/2016: all day

Anniversary of the birth of the tenth guru.

Epiphany - Christian

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01/06/2016: all day

End of the 12 days of Christmas; celebrates visit of the three kings to baby Jesus; especially important to Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics.

Maghi - Sikh

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01/13/2016: all day

Commemorates the battle in which 40 Sikhs (the Immortal Ones) laid down their lives for the guru (Guru Gobind Singh).

World Religion Day - Baha'i

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01/17/2016: all day

In 1950, this day was founded by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States to address the need for religious unity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday

01/18/2016: all day

Ash Wednesday - Christian

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02/10/2016: all day

Begins Christian Lent; name derives from symbolic use of ashes to signify penitence.

USC Office of Religious Life

University Park Campus
University Religious Center, Rm 106
Los Angeles, CA 90089
(213)740-6110
orl@usc.edu

Health Sciences Campus
McKibben Hall, Rm 160
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(213)740-6110
orl@usc.edu

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