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

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.

St. Valentine's Day - Christian - Interfaith

02/14/2016: all day

Christian celebration of the love of God presented in Jesus and in the lives of Christian believers. St. Valentine was a 3rd century martyr. This day is widely observed in the USA as a secular celebration of love.

Nirvana Day - Buddhist

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02/15/2016: all day

A regional observance of the death of Buddha.

Ayyam-i-Ha - Baha'i

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02/26/2016 - 02/29/2016: all day

Baha'i beginning of a series of special days (Intercalary Days) that balances out the calendar. It is observed by hospitality and acts of charity.

Nineteen Day Fast - Baha'i

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03/01/2016 - 03/19/2016: all day

Baha'i Fast to be observed by adult Baha'i's in good health - sunrise to sundown - no food or drink.

St. Patrick's Day - Roman Catholic

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03/17/2016: all day

Christian celebration of Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland in the early days of the faith.

Palm Sunday - Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic Christian

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03/20/2016: all day

Christian celebration of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The day begins Holy Week. It is observed by worship celebrations and parades using palm branches.

Spring Equinox

03/20/2016: all day

A time when the sun is directly above a point on the equator.

Naw-Ruz - Persian

03/20/2016: all day

Observance of the vernal equinox symbolizing spiritual growth and renewal.

Holi - Hindu

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03/23/2016: all day

Hindu spring festival dedicated to the god of pleasure. It is observed in a colorful and boisterous manner. People shower each other with colored water and smear red and green powder on each other.

Purim - Jewish

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03/24/2016: all day

Jewish celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide. Charity to the poor, sharing food with friends, and vigorous merrymaking mark the observance.

Hola Mohalla - Sikh

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03/24/2016: all day

A Sikh day when mock battles are fought and martial arts are displayed.

Good Friday - Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic

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03/25/2016: all day

Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus and related events.

Easter - Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic

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03/27/2016: all day

The most holy of Christian sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion. Observances include worship services, beginning at sunrise, special music feasting and parades.

Baisakhi/Vaisakhi - Hindu, Sikh

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04/14/2016: all day

Hindu start of the New Year. Greetings that wish good life in the coming days are exchanged. In Sikhism the day commemorates the founding of the Khalsa, a distinctive Sikh brotherhood.

Rivdan - Baha'i

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04/21/2016 - 05/02/2016: all day

Baha'i commemoration of the twelve day period in 1863 when Baha'u'llah declared that he was God's messenger for this age. Work is to be suspended on days 1, 9, and 12 of the festival.

Pesach (Passover) - Jewish

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04/23/2016 - 04/24/2016: all day

Jewish 8-day pilgrimage festival celebrating the Exodus from slavery to freedom. Begins at sundown on Friday.

Ascension Day - Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic

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05/05/2016: all day

Christian recognition of the departure of Jesus from earth after the resurrection. It is perhaps the earliest observed celebration in Christianity. It is observed with worship including prayers and music.

Yom HaShoah - Jewish

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05/05/2016: all day

Jewish Holocaust Day. The day has been established to remember the six million Jews killed by the Nazis 1933-1945. It is observed by many non-Jews as well. It begins at sundown on Wednesday.

Buddha Day (Visakaha Puja, Wesak) - Buddhist

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05/15/2016: all day

Buddhist marking of the birth, enlightenment and death (attainment of Nirvana) of Lord Buddha.

Pentecost - Orthodox, Protestant

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05/15/2016: all day

Christian observance of the day when God the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the forms of tongues of fire and rushing wind. It is a traditional day for baptism and confirmation of new Christians.

Lailat al Bara-ah

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05/21/2016: all day

Islamic Night of Forgiveness. A night of prayer to Allah for forgiveness of the dead. Preparation for Ramadan through intense prayer. Begins at sundown on Friday.

Trinity Sunday - Protestant

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05/22/2016: all day

Christian belief in one God with a threefold nature.

Corpus Christi - Roman Catholic

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05/26/2016: all day

Roman Catholic celebration in recognition of the Eucharist - the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. The real presence of the body and blood of Jesus is honored.

Ascension of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i

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05/29/2016: all day

Baha'i recollection of the death of Baha'u'llah, the founder. Observed by prayers and readings. Work is suspended.

USC Office of Religious Life

University Park Campus
University Religious Center, Rm 106
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Health Sciences Campus
McKibben Hall, Rm 160
Los Angeles, CA 90033

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