Interfaith Calendar

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.

2019

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Ash Wednesday (Christian / Roman Catholic and Protestant) – March 6

Description: This is the first day of Lent, the period of forty days before Easter in which many Christians sacrifice ordinary pleasures to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice.

General Practices: On this day, there are special church services, and the faithful wear a cross of ashes marked on foreheads. Most Christians abstain from meat on this day.

Future dates:
February 26, 2020
February 17, 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

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:
March 9-10 2020
March 25-26, 2021

Holi (Hindu) – March 21, 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 10, 2020
March 29, 2021