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Holidays and Observances

This guide provides information about diverse cultural celebrations and religious holidays. It includes calendars and brief descriptions of the events. This resource can assist in event planning and classroom activities.

Islamic Holidays and Observances

Halal restrictions apply: Islamic dietary laws which apply throughout the year. These restrictions include alcohol and pork.

Note that all holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the date given.

Al-Hijra —Al-Hijra, the Islamic New Year, is the first day of the month of Muharram. It marks the Hijra (or Hegira) in 622 CE when the Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina and set up the first Islamic state.

Eid ul-Adha — Festival of Sacrifice. This is a four-day holiday commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, who was miraculously replaced by a lamb. It also highlights the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, called Hajj.  Prayers are held at the mosque followed by an evening feast.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines on these days. Employees may ask to take a vacation day.

Eid ul-Fitr  — This holiday commemorates the completion of Ramadan and lasts for three days during which Muslims celebrate with special prayers, sweets, presents for children, and community festivities.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first day.

Mawlid an-Nabi -- Celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Celebrations, communal meals and discussions on Islam usually take place on this day.

Ramadan — Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic year during which Muslims fast daily from dawn to sunset as part of an effort towards self-purification and moral excellence, with the last ten days reserved for possible all night prayer vigils. Attendance should not be affected.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities, if possible, on the first day of Ramadan. Be aware that students and employees will be fasting during the day for 30 days.



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