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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 Colorado College.

Specific Traditions and Sacred Days for 2018-19

 Block

Buddhism

Christianity

Hinduism

Islam

Judaism

A 2019

     

Ramadan Ends:

June 4

EID al FITR:

June 4

 

B 2019

     

 
1      

 

 

Rosh Hashanah:

September 9 - 11

Yom Kippur:

September 18 - 19

Break        

2    

Navaratri:

October 9 - 16

Break    

   
3    

Diwali:

November 7

   
4

Bodhi Day:

December 8

       
5

Chinese New Year:

February 5

Nirvana Day:

February 8

       
Break

       
6

Ash Wednesday:

March 6

     
7  

Good Friday:

April 19

Easter:

April 21

   

Passover:

April 19 - April 27

8  

 

Ramadan Begins:

May 6

 
 

Specific Traditions and Sacred Days

During the 2018-19 academic year, Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year and the Day of Judgment) begins at sundown on Sunday, Sept. 9, and ends at sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 11, week three of Block 1. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement and Reconciliation), which is a day of fasting from sundown to sundown, begins the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 18, and ends at sundown on Wednesday, Sept. 19, which is at the last day of Block 1. The dates are particularly important to note, as faculty may have students who need accommodation on assignments and exams. 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. 

Passover will begin at sundown on Friday, April 19, 2019 during 7th Block Break, and ends at sundown on Saturday, April 27 during the first week of Block 8. This year, the CC Passover Seder will take place on Friday, April 26, 2019. Students can learn about religious services by contacting Kobi Chumash, Coordinator of Jewish life and Hebrew Instructor, at jchumash@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 close to August 22.  Muslims observe the lunar month of Ramadan by daily fasting, communal fast-breaking, Qur'an recitation, and personal reflection.  In 2019, Ramadan is anticipated to begin at sundown on Monday, May 6, week three Block 8 and end around June 4 in North America. When Ramadan falls within the academic calendar, the Chaplains’ Office works with identified students to arrange food they can consume prior to sunup and after sundown as well as community-wide gatherings for support and celebration. Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, will occur in 2019 at sunset on June 4. Please contact the Chaplains’ Office with specific questions regarding dietary needs.

Among the most prominent Hindu holidays during the academic year are Navaratri, nine nights venerating the Goddess, during October 9-16, 2018,  in Block 2 and Diwali, a Festival of Lights celebrating Goodness, on Wednesday, November 7, week three of Block 3. Earth-based practices honor Samhain on Wednesday, Oct. 31, as well as the solstices and equinoxes.

Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment (Bodhi Day) on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 in Block 4 and remember the Buddha’s passing (Nirvana Day) on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 in week three of Block 5. Chinese New Year, which can be important to Confucians, Taoists, and Buddhists alike, is on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, also in week three of Block 5.
Christian observance of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent, will fall on Wednesday, March 6, in week three of Block 6. Good Friday and Easter, which remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, occur on Friday, April 19, and Sunday, April 21, during 7th Block Break. Orthodox Holy Friday and Easter fall on Friday, April 26 and Sunday, April 28 in 2019, at the end of first week of Block 8.
 
While this memo 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 online at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org

For more information regarding specific religions holidays and communities, dietary needs, and/or other questions related to spiritual and religious expression on campus, please contact the Chaplains’ Office at Chaplainsoffice@coloradocollege.edu or 719-389-6638.
 
Blessings,
 
The Chaplains' Office