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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 CC.

Specific Traditions and Sacred Days for 2015-16

 Block

Buddhism

Christianity

Hinduism

Islam

Judaism

A

         

B

      Ramadan:
June 18-July 18
 

C

         
1        

 Rosh Hashanah:
September 13-15

Break        

2    

Navaratri:
October 13-21

Eid al Adha:
September 23-26
Yom Kippur:
October 22-23 
Break    

   
3      Divali:
November 11
   
4 Bodhi Day:
December 8
       
5

 Chinese New Year:
February 8

       
Break

  Ash Wednesday:
February 10
     
6 Nirvana Day:
February 15

     
7  

Good Friday:
March 25

Easter:
March 27

   
8  

Orthodox Good Friday: April 29
Orthodox Easter:
May 1

     Passover:
April 22-30

Celebrating the Jewish High Holidays is often difficult for anyone who subscribes to the rather esoteric ordering of time known as the Block Plan.  During the 2015-2016 academic year, Rosh Hashanah (the Day of Judgment) begins at sundown on Sunday September 13 and ends at sundown on Tuesday September 15th during week 4 of Block One.  The dates are particularly important to note, as you may have students in your classes who need accommodation on assignments and exams.  Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement and Reconciliation), which is a day of fasting from sundown to sundown, begins the evening of Tuesday, September 22, and ends Wednesday evening, September 23rd, which is at the beginning of week 1 of Block 2.  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.  Jewish Passover will begin at sundown on Friday, April 22, 2016 during the 1st week of Block 8, and ends at sundown on Saturday, April 30.  Many family and community observances are held on the first two days of Passover (April 22 and 23rd). Students can find out about area synagogues and special services by contacting Kobi Chumash (coordinator of Jewish student life and Hebrew instructor) at Jacob.Chumash@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 September 23.  Muslims observe the lunar month of Ramadan by daily fasting, fast-breaking feasts, Qur'an recitation, and personal reflection.  In 2015, Ramadan is anticipated to begin Saturday, June 18 and end around Monday, July 18th in North America. Each year, the college works with identified students to arrange food they can consume prior to sunup and after sundown as well as communitywide gatherings for support and celebration. Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, will occur in 2015 close to July 18. Please contact Kate Holbrook at kate.holbrook@coloradocollege.edu with specific questions or ongoing dietary needs.

Among the most prominent Hindu holidays during the academic year are Navaratri, nine nights venerating the Goddess, during October 13-21 and Divali, a Festival of Lights celebrating Goodness, on November 11th.   Earth-based practices honor Samhain on November 1 as well as the solstices and equinoxes. Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment (Bodhi Day) on December 8 and the Buddha passing (Nirvana Day) on February 15. Chinese New Year, which can be important to Confucians, Taoists and Buddhists alike, is on Monday, February 8th.

Christian observance of Ash Wednesday will fall on February 10th, during the last week of Block 5.  Good Friday and Easter occur on March 25 and 27, at the end of the 1st week of Block 7.   Orthodox Good Friday and Easter on April 29th and May 1st.

Interfaith Calendar

While the information on this page 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 here.