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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Rosh Hashanah (Jewish) Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2019

Description: Start of the Jewish New Year. Begins at sundown (first day) and ends at nightfall (last day). The Jewish calendar celebrates the New Year in the seventh month (Tishrei) as a day of rest and celebration ten days before Yom Kippur.

General Practices: Prayer in synagogue and festive meals

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. If planning an event, provide food accommodation as requested (kosher restrictions apply).

Future Dates:
September 19-20, 2020
September 7-8, 2021

Yom Kippur (Jewish)  Oct. 8-9, 2019

Description: Yom Kippur is often considered the holiest day of the year for Jews, and the day is dedicated to atonement and abstinence. Begins at sundown (first day) and ends at nightfall (last day).

General Practices: During Yom Kippur, Jews fast from before sundown until after sunset, and light a Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on the night of Yom Kippur.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities on this date and after a day of fasting.

Future Dates:
September 27-28, 2020
September 15-16, 2021

Navaratri (Hindu) – Oct. 9, 2019

Description: A Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. During this time, Hindus worship Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

General Practices:  Durga is the mother goddess, and so Hindus try to visit their mothers and other relatives during this time. Some Hindus will pray and fast, and there are often feasts and dances.

Future dates:
September 29, 2019
October 17, 2020
October 07, 2021

Sukkot (Jewish) – Oct. 14-15, 2019

Description: A week-long celebration which begins with the building of Sukkah for sleep and meals; Sukkot is named for the huts Moses and the Israelites lived in as they wandered the desert before reaching the promised land.

General Practices:  Sukkot, beginning at sundown, families in the United States commonly decorate the sukkah with produce and artwork.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities on the first two days.

Future dates:
October 3-4, 2020
September 21-22, 2021

Shemini Atzeret (Atzereth) (Jewish) – Oct. 20-21, 2019

Description: A fall festival, which includes a memorial service for the dead and features prayers for rain in Israel.

General Practices:  Beginning at sundown, Jews light a Yahrzeit memorial candle at sundown on Shemini Atzereth (the 8th night of Sukkot).

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities on the first two days.

Future dates:
October 9-10, 2020
September 27-28, 2021

Simchat Torah (Jewish) – Oct. 21-22, 2019

Description: Simchat Torah marks the completion of the annual cycle of the reading of the Torah in the synagogue and the beginning of the new cycle.

General Practices:  Practitioners dance in synagogues as all the Torah scrolls are carried around in seven circuits.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities on the first two days.

Future dates:
October 10-11, 2020
September 28-29, 2021

Diwali (Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain) – Oct. 27, 2019

Description: Diwali—the Hindu “festival of lights”—is an extremely popular holiday for multiple religions throughout Southern Asia. Diwali extends over five days and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Fireworks, oil lamps and sweets are common. The lamps are lit to help the goddess Lakshmi find her way into people’s homes.

General Practices:  Lighting oil lamps and candles, setting off fireworks, and prayer.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on this date. Hindu employees will likely request a vacation day on this date.

Future dates:
November 14, 2020
November 04, 2021

Samhain (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid) – Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2019

Description: One of the four "greater Sabbats" and considered by some to be the Wiccan New Year. A time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, welcome those born during the past year into the community, and reflecting on past relationships, events and other significant changes in life.

General Practices: Paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died.

Future dates:
October 31-November 1 (annually)