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

2019

January

UBC Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1 – New Year’s Day (University closed)
1 – Gantan-sai (New Years) (Shinto)
5 – Guru Gobind Singh Birthday (Sikh)
6 – Nativity of Christ (Armenian Orthodox)
7 –  Feast of the Nativity** (Orthodox Christian)
13 – Maghi Lori (Sikh)*
14 – Makar Sankranti (Hindu)
19 – Timkat (Ethiopian Orthodox Christian)
20 – World Religion Day (Baha’i)
22 – Tu B’shevat (Jewish)*
21 to 23 – Mahayana New Year (Buddhist)**

February

Aboriginal Storytelling Month
Black History Month

1 – World Interfaith Harmony Week (UN)
3 – Setsebun Sai (Shinto)
5 – Chinese New Year (Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist)
12 – Family Day (University closed)
15 – Nehan-e Nirvana Day (Buddhist)**
18 – Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
20 – World Day of Social Justice (UN)
21 – International Mother Language Day (UN)
27 – Anti-Bullying / Pink Shirt Day (Canada)

March

Women’s History Month

1 – Zero Discrimination Day (UN)
2 to 20 – Nineteen Day Fast (Baha’i)*
4 – Maha Shivarantri (Hindu)
8 – International Women’s Day (UN)
17 – Orthodox Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
20 to 21 – Holi (Hindu)**
20 – Holi (Sikh)
20 – International Day of Happiness (UN)
21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN)
21 – Purim (Jewish)
21 – Naw-Rúz (New Year) (Baha’i)*
21 – Hola Mohalla (Sikh)
21 – Magha Puja Day (Buddhist)**
21 to 27 – Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination (UN)

April

3 – Laylat al Mi’raj (Islam)*
4 – Refugee Rights Day (Canada)
14 – Vaisakhi (Baisakhi) (Sikh)
14 – Palm Sunday (Christian)
14 – Rama Navami (Hindu)
17 – Mahavir Jayanti (Jain)**
18 – Birthday of Guru Angad Dev
19 to 21 – Theravadin New Year (Buddhist)**
20 to 27 – Pesach (Judaism)*
21 – First Day of Ridvan (Baha’i) *
21 – Easter (Christian)
21 – Lailat al Bara’ah (Islam)*
21 – Palm Sunday (Orthodox Christian)
22 – Earth Day (UN)
23 – St. George’s Day (Christian)
26 – Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)
28 – Pascha (Easter) (Orthodox Christian)
29 – Ninth Day of Ridvan (Baha’i)*

May

2 – Last day of Ridvan (Baha’i)*
2 – Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
3 – Saints Philip & James (Christian)
6 – Ramadan begins (Islam)*
8/9- Days of Remembrance and Reconciliation (UN)
9 – Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Jewish)*
12 – Mother’s Day
15 – International Day of Families (UN)
17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 
18 – Visakha Puja (Buddha Day) (Buddhist)**
19 – Wesak (Buddha Day)
21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity
24 to 27 – Aboriginal Awareness Week (Canada)
23 – Declaration of the Bab (Baha’i)*
27 – Start of the National AccessAbility Week
27 – Memorial Day
29 – Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)*
31 – Laylat al-Qadr (Islam)*

June

National Aboriginal History Month (Canada)

1 – Laylat al Kadr (Islam)*
3 to 5 – Eid al Fitr (Islam)*
6 – Ascension of Jesus (Orthodox Christian)
9 – Pentecost (Christian)
9 to 10 – Shavuot (Jewish)*
11 – National Day of Healing and Reconciliation
16 – Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Sikh)
16 – Trinity Sunday (Christian)
16 – Father’s Day
16 – Poson (Buddhist)
16 – Pentecost (Orthodox Christian)
21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day
21 – Solstice
23 – Public Service Day (UN)
23 – All Saints (Orthodox Christian)
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
2 – Holiday in lieu of Canada Day
9 – Martyrdom of the Bab (Baha’i)*
11 – World Population Day (UN)
13 to 15 – Obon (Ulambana) (Buddhist/Shinto)**
16 – Asalha Puja Day (Buddhist)**
16 – Guru Purnima / Chaturmas begins (Hindu)
18 – Nelson Mandela International Day (UN)
30 – Oh-harai-taisai (Shinto)
30 – International Day of Friendship (UN)
30 – World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (UN)

August

1 – Lammas (Christian)
5 – BC Day (university closed)
8 to 17 – Fravardegahn Days (Zarathushti Shenshai)
9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People (UN)
10 to 14 – Day of Hajj (Islam)*
10 – Tisha B’Av (Jewish)
10 – Waqf al Arafa (Islam)
12 to 15 –  Eid al Adha (Islam)*
15 – Raksha Bandhan (Hindu) **
23 – Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu)**
27 – Paryushana Parvarambha (Jain)

September

1 – Hijri (New Year) (Islam)*
2 – Labour Day
3 – Samvatsari Parva / Dashalakshani-parva (Jain)
3 – Paryushana Parva (Jain)*
10 – Ashura (Islam)*
12 – Kshamavani (Jain)
15 – International Day of Democracy (UN)
20 – Birth of the Guru Granth
21 – International Day of Peace (UN)
26 – Diwali (Sikh)
23-29 – Gender Equality Week
30 – Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)*
30 – Orange Shirt Day

October

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

1 – Rosh Hashanah (Jewish)*
1 – International Day of Older Persons (UN)
8 – Dasara (Hindu)**
9 – Yom Kippur (Jewish)*
10 – World Mental Health Day
14 – Thanksgiving (Canada)
15 – International Day of Rural Women (UN)
17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (UN)
20 to 22 – Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)
21 – Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)*
22 – Simchat Torah (Jewish)*
27 – Diwali (Sikh/Hindu/Jain)
28 – Jain New Year (Jain)
29 – Birth of the Báb (Baha’i)*

November

10 – Mawlid an Nabi (Islam)*
12 – Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)*
12 – Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib (Sikh)
13 – World Kindness Day
16 – International Day for Tolerance (UN)
20 – Transgender Day of Remembrance
24 – Matyrdom of Guru Tegh Badhur (Sikh)
25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (UN)
28 – Thanksgiving (Interfaith USA)
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)
18 – International Migrants Day (UN)
20 – International Human Solidarity Day (UN)
23 to 30 – Hanukkah (Jewish)*
25  – Christmas (Christianity)*
25 – Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)**
26 – Death of Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroastrianism)

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.