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Religious Holidays

Religious Diversity and Inclusion

Colorado College strives to be a diverse community of discovery and learning. As such, we seek to create an environment that is open to and supportive of a wide range of religious traditions. Observance of religious holidays poses a significant challenge to our community due to our academic schedule. In the past, students have spoken of CC faculty who were either unaware of the holidays or hesitant to let students make alternative arrangements to complete class assignments. The distinctive pressures of the Block Plan make some students hesitant to celebrate these important holidays. It can be especially difficult for first-year students away from family and their home communities for the first time. Likewise, faculty report students who fail to communicate their needs in a clear and timely manner as well as having to choose between conflicting roles as responsible teacher or person of faith. Campus-wide meetings unintentionally scheduled on major religious holidays lead to feelings of exclusion and frustration. The intensity of the Block Plan amplifies these problems experienced by most other campuses.

In the past few years, our community has moved toward overcoming these challenges by working together. Freedom of religious expression and celebration is an important value at Colorado College. The Chaplains' Office staff would like to remind you of Colorado College's commitment to respect the observance of religious holidays by individual members of our community. As faculty, you can help by asking if students are affected by religious holidays and by providing reasonable alternatives to complete tests, papers, or projects from these days. As students, you can talk to your professors well ahead of time to make arrangements for completing all work. All of us can be supportive of an inclusive, welcoming approach to religious and spiritual life at CC.

Specific Traditions and Sacred Days for 2014-2015

 Block

Buddhism

Christianity

Hinduism

Islam

Judaism

A

         

B

      Ramadan:
June 28-July 28
 

C

         
1        

 

Break        

Rosh Hashanah:
September 24-26

2    

Navaratri:
September 25 - October 3

Eid al Adha:
October 4-7
Yom Kippur:
October 3-4 
Break    

Divali:
October 23

   
3          
4 Bodhi Day:
December 8
       
5

 

       
Break

Nirvana Day:
February 15

       
6 Chinese New Year:
February 19

Ash Wednesday:
February 18

     
7  

Good Friday:
April 3

Easter:
April 5

Orthodox Good Friday:
April 10

Orthodox Easter:
April 12
    Passover:
April 3-11
8          

Celebrating the Jewish High Holidays is often difficult for anyone who subscribes to the rather esoteric ordering of time known as the Block Plan. Luckily, during the 2014-2015 academic year, Rosh Hashanah (the Day of Judgment and the beginning of the New Year) begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 24 and ends at sundown on Friday, September 26, during Block Break. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement and Reconciliation), which is a day of fasting from sundown to sundown, begins the evening of Friday, October 3, and ends Saturday evening, October 4, which is at the end of week 1 of Block 2. Depending on personal practice and family traditions, students may celebrate High Holidays using one, two or all three days to attend synagogue and to spend time in personal reflection, with their families, or with the Jewish community.

Jewish Passover will begin at sundown on Friday, April 3 (in the second week of Block 7) and end at sundown on Saturday, April 11. Many family and community observances are held on the first two days of Passover (April 3 and 4). Students can find out about area synagogues and special services by contacting Kobi Chumash (coordinator of Jewish student life and Hebrew instructor) at Jacob.Chumash@coloradocollege.edu.

Ramadan is only one of many important religious holidays in Islam. Eid al Adha, which celebrates the Feast of the Sacrifice, will occur October 4-7. Muslims observe the lunar month of Ramadan by daily fasting, fast-breaking feasts, Qur'an recitation, and personal reflection. In 2014, Ramadan is anticipated to begin Saturday, June 28 and end around Monday, July 28 in North America. In 2015, Ramadan is anticipated to begin Wednesday, June 18 and end close to Saturday, July 18. Each year, the college works with identified students to arrange food they can consume prior to sunup and after sundown as well as communitywide gatherings for support and celebration. Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, will occur in 2014 close to July 28. In 2015 Eid al Fitr will happen near July 18. Please contact Kate Holbrook at kate.holbrook@coloradocollege.edu with specific questions or ongoing dietary needs.

Among the most prominent Hindu holidays during the academic year are Navaratri, nine nights venerating the Goddess, during September 25-October 3 and Divali, a Festival of Lights celebrating Goodness, on October 23. Earth-based practices honor Samhain on November 1 as well as the solstices and equinoxes. Buddhists celebrate the Buddha enlightenment (Bodhi Day) on December 8 and the Buddha passing (Nirvana Day) on February 15. Chinese New Year, which can be important to Confucians, Taoists and Buddhists alike, is on Thursday, February 19th.

Christian observance of Ash Wednesday will fall on February 18, in the first week of Block 6. Good Friday and Easter occur on April 3 and 5, at the end of the second week of Block 7. Orthodox Good Friday and Easter occur on April 10 and 12.

Interfaith Calendar

While the information on this page includes the most common requests for accommodation, students from other religious traditions may ask for similar consideration. The most reliable multi-year calendar of religious holidays can be found here.