Interfaith Calendar

Interfaith Calendar

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Religious observances allow the university to reflect on and practice the values that we as a campus community openly espouse, including sensitivity and respect for all cultures and religions. We are a community that embraces our diversity and encourages the celebration of multicultural traditions.

This resource includes dates, descriptions and information about some of the many religious holy days celebrated by faculty, staff and students at St. Cloud State. Also included with many are recommended accommodations to assist with planning classroom activities and other academic and co-curricular events.


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Holi (Hindu) – March 2, 2018

Description: Also known as the “Festival of Colors,” this holiday can be traced to Hindu scriptures commemorating good over evil. This date is also a celebration of the colorful spring and a farewell to the dull winter.

General Practices: Hindus often sprinkle colored water and powder on others and celebrate with bonfires and lights, signifying victory of good over evil.

Date Details: Celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar moon in late February or early March.

Future dates:
March 02, 2018
March 21, 2019
March 10, 2020
March 29, 2021

Ostara / Alban Eilir / Spring Equinox (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) – March 20

Description: Also known as Eostre. Regarded as a time of fertility and conception. In some Wiccan traditions, it is marked as the time when the Goddess conceives the God's child, which will be born at the winter solstice. One of eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Lighting fires to commemorate the return of light in the spring and to honor the God and Goddess. Coloring eggs as a way of honoring fertility is also practiced.

Future dates:
March 20 (annually)

Naw Ruz— (Baha’i) – March 20-21

Description: This is the Baha’i New Year, a traditional celebration in Iran adopted as a holy day associated with Baha’i. It is a celebration of spring and new life.

General Practices: Festive music dancing, prayers, meetings and meals

Future dates:
March 20-21 (annually)

Purim — (Jewish) – March 20-21, 2018

Description: Purim commemorates the time when the Jews were living in Persia and were saved by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.

General Practices: Many Jews hold carnival-like celebrations on Purim, dressing in costumes, and read the Book of Esther. Triangular, fruit-filled pastries are eaten in opposition to the villain Haman, who wore a three-cornered hat.

Recommended Accommodations: Purim is not subject to the restrictions on work that affect some other holidays;  however, some sources indicate that Jews should not go about their ordinary business at Purim out of respect for the festival.

Future dates:
February 28-March 1, 2018
March 20-21 2019
March 9-10 2020
March 25-26, 2021

Palm Sunday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant / Eastern Orthodox Christianity) – March 25, 2018

Description: A commemoration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as crowds lined his path with palm fronds.

General Practices: Prayer, distribution of palm leaves commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion.

Future dates:
March 25, 2018
April 14, 2019
April 05, 2020
March 28, 2021

Maundy Thursday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant) – March 29, 2018

Description: Thursday before Easter, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with the Apostles.

General Practices: Prayer, Communion (Eucharist), meals, and foot-washing ceremonies among some Christian denominations.

Date Details: Always falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.

Future dates:
March 29, 2018
April 18, 2019
April 09, 2020
April 01, 2021

Good Friday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant) – March 30, 2018

Description: Friday before Easter, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; among some sects of Christianity and in many countries marks a day of fasting.

General Practices: Prayer, fasting and noon or afternoon services in some Christian denominations.

Date Details: Always falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday.

Future dates:
March 30, 2018
April 19, 2019
April 10, 2020
April 02, 2021

Pesach / Passover (Jewish) – March 30-April 7, 2018

Description: Pesach is a week-long observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II (one of three pilgrimage festivals).

General Practices: Family gatherings, ritualized meals called Seders, reading of the Haggadah, lighting of Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the last night of Passover.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first two and last two days of the holiday.

Future dates:
March 30-April 7, 2018
April 20-27, 2019
April 9-16, 2020
March 29-April 4, 2021

Magha Puja Day (Buddhist) – March 31, 2018

Description: Magha Puja Day commemorates an important event in the life of the Buddha, in which the four disciples traveled to join the Buddha.

Future dates:
March 31, 2018
February 19, 2019
March 09, 2020
March 28, 2021