Religious Accommodation and Days of Significance

This calendar includes religious holidays, significant events and celebrations, public holidays, and other important dates that should be considered when planning events and activities. These dates are provided to assist the UBC community when planning activities to anticipate when students or staff might choose to seek accommodations for religious observances.

Additional dates of religious observances may be found in the Interfaith Calendar. It is important to note that there are many holy days associated with various faiths and that the absence of such dates on this list should not be interpreted to mean that there should be no accommodation for students who observe those holy days. Finally, some observances are based on an interpretation of the lunar calendar, and thus may vary by one or two days depending upon the interpretation relevant to a student’s faith tradition.

Board of Governors Policy #SC7  (formerly Policy #3) regarding discrimination is in place for all members of the UBC community. Moreover, the University is obligated to comply with the BC Human Rights Code in accommodating students observances of sincerely held religious beliefs.

Religious Accommodations

Students

Recognizing the religious and spiritual diversity of the University, UBC permits students who are scheduled to attend classes or write examinations on holy days of their religions to notify their instructors in advance of the holy day of their wish to observe it by absenting themselves from class or examination. Instructors provide opportunity for such students to make up work or examinations missed without penalty.

If you are seeking more information, you can review your academic concession options and the UBC Senate information on religious observances.

Faculty and Staff

UBC staff or faculty members may require time away from work for religious observance.  In such circumstances, staff or faculty should make requests to their Manager or Administrative Head of Unit with as much notice as possible, and reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate such requests.

For more information on religious accommodation for staff and faculty, visit UBC Human Resources Accommodation of Religious Observances page.

Days of Significance

2020

JANUARY

UBC Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1 – New Year’s Day (University closed)
1 – Gantan-sai (New Years) (Shinto)
5 – Avtar (Birthday) of Guru Gobind Sing Ji (Sikh)
6 – Nativity of Christ (Armenian Orthodox)
7 –  Feast of the Nativity** (Orthodox Christian)
10 to 12 – Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)**
15 – Maghi (Sikh)*
15 – Makar Sankranti (Hindu)
19 – World Religion Day (Baha’i)
20 – Timkat (Ethiopian Orthodox Christian)
25 – Chinese New Year (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist)
27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day (designated by the United Nations)

FEBRUARY

Aboriginal Storytelling Month
Black History Month

 1 – World Interfaith Harmony Week (UN)
3 – Setsebun Sai (Shinto)
10 – Tu B’shevat (Jewish)*
17 – Family Day (University closed)
15 – Nehan-e Nirvana Day (Buddhist)**
20 – World Day of Social Justice (UN)
21 – International Mother Language Day (UN)
21 – Maha Shivarantri (Hindu)
26 – Anti-Bullying / Pink Shirt Day (Canada)

MARCH

Women’s History Month

1 – Zero Discrimination Day (UN)
2 to 20 – Nineteen Day Fast (Baha’i)*
8 – International Women’s Day (UN)
8 – Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
9 – Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)**
9 to 10 — Purim (Jewish)
10 – Holi (Hindu)**
14 – Chet – Beginning of the Sikh Calendar (Nanakshahi 552)
20 – International Day of Happiness (UN)
21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN)
21 — Holla Mohalla (Sikh)
21 – Naw-Rúz (New Year) (Baha’i)*
21 to 27 – Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination (UN)

APRIL

2 – Rama Navami (Hindu)
3 – Laylat al Mi’raj (Islam)*
4 – Refugee Rights Day (Canada)
5 – Palm Sunday (Christian)
9 – Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)**
9 to 11 – Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)**
9 to 16 – Pesach (Judaism)*
11 – Vaisakhi Day Parade – Vancouver (Sikh)
12 – Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
12 – Easter (Christian)
14 – Vaisakhi (Baisakhi) – Birth of the Khalsa  (Sikh)
17 – Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)
18 – Vaisakhi Day Parade – Surrey
19 — Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)
21 – First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i) *
21 – Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)*
21 — Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
22 – Earth Day (UN)
23 – St. George’s Day (Christian)
24 – Ramadan begins (Islam)*
28 – Yom HaZikron (Jewish)
29 – Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)*
29 — Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)*

MAY

2 – Last day of Ridvan (Baha’i)*
3 – Saints Philip & James (Christian)
7 – Visakha Puja (Buddha Day) (Buddhist)**
8/9 — Days of Remembrance and Reconciliation (UN)
10 – Mother’s Day
15 – International Day of Families (UN)
17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 
19 to 22 — Aboriginal Awareness Week (Canada)
21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity
23 – Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)*
23 to 24 – Eid al Fitr (Islam)*
25 – Memorial Day
29 – Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)*
29 — Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)
29 to 30 – Shavuot (Jewish)*
31 – Pentecost (Christian)
31 May to 6 June– National AccessAbility Week

JUNE

National Aboriginal History Month (Canada)

1 – Laylat al Kadr (Islam)*
5 — Poson (Buddhist)
7 – Trinity Sunday (Christian)
7 – Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)
7 – Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Sikh)
14 — All Saints (Orthodox Christian)
20 – Solstice
21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day
21 – Father’s Day
23 – Public Service Day (UN)
24 — Rahmat (Baha’i)
24 – St. Jean Baptiste Day (Quebec)
26 – United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
27 – Multi-culturalism Day (Canada)
29 – Ghambar Maidyoshem begins (Zarathushti)

JULY

1 – Canada Day
1 – Sant Teja Singh Day (Sikh)
2 – Holiday in lieu of Canada Day
4 — Guru Purnima / Chaturmas begins (Hindu)
5 – Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)*
9 – Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)*
11 – World Population Day (UN)
18 – Nelson Mandela International Day (UN)
28 – August 2 Day of Hajj (Islam)*
30 – Tisha B’Av (Jewish)
30 – International Day of Friendship (UN)
30 – World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (UN)
31 to August 3rd – Eid al Adha (Islam)*

 AUGUST

1 – Lammas (Christian)
3 – BC Day (university closed)
3 – Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) **
9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (UN)
13 to 15 – Obon (Ulambana) (Buddhist/Shinto)**
15 – Paryushana Parvarambha (Jain)
10 – Waqf al Arafa (Islam)
23 – Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)**
20 – Hijri (New Year) (Islam)*
22 — Samvatsari Parva / Dashalakshani-parva (Jain)
29 – Ashura (Islam)*
31 – First Installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sikh)

SEPTEMBER

2 – Labour Day
21 – Paryushana Parva (Jain)*
15 – International Day of Democracy (UN)
19 to 20 – Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)*
21 – International Day of Peace (UN)
23-29 – Gender Equality Week
28 – Yom Kippur (Jewish)*
30 – Orange Shirt Day

OCTOBER

Women’s History Month
Islamic History Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month

1 – International Day of Older Persons (UN)
3 to 10 Sukkot (Jewish)
10 – World Mental Health Day
10 – Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)*
11 – Simchat Torah (Jewish)*
12 – Thanksgiving (Canada)
15 – International Day of Rural Women (UN)
17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN)
25 – Dasara (Hindu)**
27 – Diwali / Bandhi Chor Divas (Sikh)
29 – Mawlid an Nabi (Islam)*

NOVEMBER

9 to 10 – Kristalnacht
12 – Avtar (Birthday) of Guru Nanak (Sikh)
13 – Jain New Year (Jain)
13 – World Kindness Day
14 – Diwali (Sikh/Hindu/Jain)
16 – International Day for Tolerance (UN)
20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance
24 – Matyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji (Sikh)
25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (UN)
26 – Thanksgiving (Interfaith USA)
29 – Birth of the Báb (Baha’i)*
30 – St. Andrew’s Day (Christian)

DECEMBER

1 – World AIDS Day
2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (UN)
3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN)
6 – National Day of Remembrance of Action on Violence Against Women
8 – Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) (Buddhism)
10 – Human Rights Day (UN)
11 to 18 – Hanukkah (Jewish)*
18 – International Migrants Day (UN)
20 – International Human Solidarity Day (UN)
23 – Martyrdom of Baba Ajeet Singh Ji / Baba Jujar Singh Ji (Sikh)
25 – Christmas (Christianity)*
25 – Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)**
26 – Death of Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroastrianism)
27 – Martyrdom of Baba Zoravar Singh Ji / Baba Fateh Singh Ji / Mata Gujar Kaur Ji (Sikh)

Please note:

* Holy days usually begin at sundown the day before this date
** Local/regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of this date during this period
Bold titles are primary holy days or a tradition.