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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 2016-17







A 2017


Ramadan Begins:

May 27 -


B 2017


Ramadan Ends:

June 26


July 6



September 13





October 1 - 10

Rosh Hashanah:

October 2 - 4

Yom Kippur:

October 11 - 12




October 30


Bodhi Day:

December 8


Chinese New Year:

January 28

Nirvana Day:

February 15



Ash Wednesday:

March 1


Good Friday:

April 14


April 16



April 10 - April 18



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 2016-17 academic year, Rosh Hashanah (the Day of Judgment) begins at sundown on Sunday, October 2, and ends at sundown on Tuesday, October 4, during week 2 of Block 2.  The dates are particularly important to note, as faculty may have students 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, October 11, and ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 12, which is week 3 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 Monday, April 10, 2017, during the third week of Block 7, and ends at sundown on Tuesday, April 18.  Many family and community observances are held on the first two days of Passover (April 10 and 11). Students can find out about area synagogues and special services by contacting Kobi Chumash, coordinator of Jewish life and Hebrew instructor, at
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 13, 2016.  Muslims observe the lunar month of Ramadan by daily fasting, communal fast-breaking, Qur'an recitation, and personal reflection.  In 2016, Ramadan is anticipated to begin at sundown on Monday, June 6, and end around July 6, in North America. In 2017, Ramadan is anticipated to begin around May 27, and end close to June 26. When Ramadan falls within the academic calendar, the Chaplains’ Office works with identified students to arrange food they can consume prior to sunup and after sundown as well as community-wide gatherings for support and celebration. Eid al Fitr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, will occur in 2016 close to July 6. In 2017 Eid al Fitr will happen near June 26. Please contact Kate Holbrook at 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 1-10 and Divali, a Festival of Lights celebrating Goodness, on Sunday, October 30, right before week 2 of Block 3. Earth-based practices honor Samhain on November 1, as well as the solstices and equinoxes. Buddhists celebrate the Buddha enlightenment (Bodhi Day) on Thursday, December 8, and the Buddha passing (Nirvana Day) on Wednesday, February 15. Chinese New Year, which can be important to Confucians, Taoists, and Buddhists alike, is on Saturday, January 28, at the end of week 1 of Block 5.
Christian observance of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent, will fall on March 1, during week 2 of Block 6. Good Friday and Easter, which remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, occur on April 14, and 16, at the end of week 3 of Block 7. Orthodox Holy Friday and Easter also fall on April 14 and 16 in 2017.
While this memo 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 online at
Kate Holbrook

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.