University of Southern California

Office of Religious Life

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Religious Life at USC

Holy Days Calendar

Four Chaplains Sunday - Interfaith

02/01/2015: all day

Commemoration of the event in World War II when four Chaplains of Jewish and Christian traditions gave their life jackets to others as a troop ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

Triodion begins - Orthodox Christian

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02/01/2015: all day

Orthodox Christian time period leading up to lent. The liturgy involves hymns, odes and scriptures.

Candlemas - Christian

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02/02/2015: all day

Christian celebration of the presentation of young Jesus in the temple to the aged Simeon. New beginnings are recognized. Candles are lighted.

Presentation of Christ in the Temple

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02/02/2015: all day

Christian remembrance of the infant Jesus being brought to the temple in Jerusalem. His Godly presence was recognized. Celebrate at worship services.

Saint Brighid of Kildare - Celtic Christian

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02/02/2015: all day

Christian recognition of Brighid who displayed unusual compassion. She was brought up as a Druid and became a Christian.

Imbolc - Lughnassad - Wicca/Pagan

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02/02/2015: all day

Begins at sundown. A reflection on the power of the gods from which physical and spiritual harvest will come.

Setsubun-sai - Shinto

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02/03/2015: all day

Shinto celebration of the change of seasons with the coming of spring with shouts of "Devils out, Good Fortune in". Bean throwing protects against demons.

Tu BiShvat - Jewish

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02/04/2015: all day

Begins at sundown. Jewish celebration of the coming of spring by preparation of foods native to Israel. It is also known as "New Year for Trees" - a method for determining the age of trees for tithing purposes.

Saint Valentine's Day - Christian

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02/14/2015: 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 - Jain

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02/15/2015: all day

A regional observance of the death of the Buddha.

Transfiguration Sunday - Christian

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02/15/2015: all day

Christian commemoration of the experience on Mt. Tabor when Jesus' physical appearance became brilliant as his connection with traditional Jewish holy figures became evident to the disciples.

Meatfare Sunday - Orthodox Christian

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02/15/2015: all day

Orthodox Christian observance, two weeks before the start of the Great Lent, preparing the faithful for the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. This is the last day for eating of meat before the Great Lent.

Shrove Tuesday - Christian

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02/17/2015: all day

Christian carnival day on the eve of Ash Wednesday which begins Lent, a time of fasting and devotions. Pancakes are often served. It is also known as Fat Tuesday in some places.

Ash Wednesday

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02/18/2015: all day

Christian observance to begin the 40 day season of Lent. Ashes are marked on worshippers as a sign of penitence.

World Religion Day - Baha'i

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02/19/2015: all day

Baha'i sponsored day dedicated to the unity and oneness of all world religions.

Chinese New Year - Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist

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02/19/2015: all day

Begins a 15 day fesitval for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth.

Cheesefare Sunday - Orthodox Christian

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02/22/2015: all day

"Forgiveness Sunday" indicating a desire for God's forgiveness that lies at the heart of Great Lent.

Clean Monday - Orthodox Christian

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02/23/2015: all day

Orthodox Christian first day of Lent.

Intercalary Days - Baha'i

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02/26/2015 - 03/01/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 25th. Baha'i insertion of days into the calendar in order to maintain their solar calendar.

Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Christian

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03/01/2015: all day

Orthodox Sunday first Sunday of Lent. Restoration of iconsto the church is celebrated.

Saint David of Wales - Celtic Christian

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03/01/2015: all day

Celtic Christian saint known for his wisdome and missionary work.

Nineteen Day Fast - Baha'i

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03/02/2015 - 03/20/2015: all day

Begins at sundown. Baha'i fast to be observed by adult Baha'is in good health - sunrise to sundown - no food or drink.

Purim - Jewish

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03/05/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 4th. Jewish celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide. Charity to the poor, sharing food with friends, and vigoros merrymaking mark the observance.

Magha Puja Day - Buddhist

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03/05/2015: all day

Buddhist celebration of the presentation of teachings by Lord Buddha to an assembly of holy men.

Holi - Hindu

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03/06/2015: 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.

Hola Mohalla - Sikh

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03/06/2015: all day

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

Saint Patrick's Day

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03/17/2015: all day

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

Maha Shivaratri - Hindu

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03/17/2015: all day

A Hindu festival in honor of Lord Shiva and his marriage to Goddess Parvati. Ceremonies involving prayers and hymns take place mostly at night. Special foods are not used.

Equinox (Ostara) - Wicca/Pagan

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03/20/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 19th. Wicca welcoming of spring and the goddess-as-maiden.

Naw Ruz (New Years) - Persian

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03/21/2015: all day

Persian New Year. Begins at sundown on the 20th.

Saint Joseph's Day - Christian

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03/22/2015: all day

Christian remembrance of Joseph, husband of Mary the mother of Jesus.

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Christian

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03/25/2015: all day

Christian celebration of Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary the coming birth of Jesus as the Incarnation of Creator God.

Ramanavami - Hindu

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03/28/2015: all day

Hindu celebration of the birth of Lord Rama, hero of the religious epic poem, The Ramayana. The day involves telling of stories and going to the temple.

Palm Sunday - Christian

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03/29/2015: 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.

Maundy Thursday - Christian

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04/02/2015: all day

Christian observance of the first Lord's Supper during Holy Week.

Good Friday - Christian

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04/03/2015: all day

Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus and related events.

Mahavir Jayanti - Jain

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04/03/2015: all day

Jain fesitval honoring Lord Mahavira on the founder's birthday. Shrines are visited. Teachings are reviewed and refected upon.

Pesach (Passover) - Jewish

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04/04/2015 - 04/11/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 3rd. Jewish 8 day pilgrimage festival celebrating the Exodus from slavery to freedom. Also known as Passover.

Therevadin New Year - Buddhist

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04/04/2015: all day

Hanuman Jayanti - Hindu

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04/04/2015: all day

Hindu celebration of Hanuman who was an embodiment of Lord Rama. Devotion and selfless work are encouraged.

Lazarus Saturday - Orthodox Christian

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04/04/2015: all day

Orthodox Christian celebration of the resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus, celebrated on the eve of Palm Sunday;revealing that Jesus in "the resurrection and Life" of all mankind.

Easter - Christian

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04/05/2015: all day

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

Palm Sunday - Orthodox Christian

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04/05/2015: all day

Orthodox Christian celebration of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Yom HaShoah - Jewish

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04/16/2015: all day

Jewish Holocaust Day. The day has been established to remember the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in 1933-45. It is observed by many non-Jews as well.

First Day of Rivdan - Baha'i

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04/21/2015, 04/29/2015, 05/02/2015: all day

Begins at sundown on the 20th. Baha'is 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.

Saint George Day - Christian

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04/23/2015: all day

Christians 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.

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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