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.

For students seeking information on the new policy regarding academic accommodation for religious observances, and cultural observances for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students, please review your options here.

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

2021

JANUARY

UBC Sexual Assault Awareness Month

1 – New Year’s Day
4 – World Brailled Day
7 – Orthodox Christmas (Christianity)
13 – Maghi (Sikhism)*
14 – Makara Sankranti (Hinduism)
17 – World Religion Day (Baha’i)
20 – Bodhi Day (Buddhism)
24 – International Day of Education
27 – International Holocaust Remembrance Day (designated by the United Nations)

FEBRUARY

Black History Month

1- World Hijab Day
2- Setsubun (Buddhism)
4- International Day of Human Fraternity
6- International Day of Zero Tolerance Female Genital Mutilation
11 – International Day of Women and Girls in Science
12 – Lunar New Year
15 – Family Day
20 – World Day of Social Justice
21 – International Mother Language Day
24 – Pink Shirt Day (Canada)

MARCH

1 – Zero Discrimination Day
8 – International Women’s and United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace
11 – Maha Shivratri (Hinduism)
20 – International Day of Happiness
20 – Baha’i New Year (Baha’i)
21 – International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination
21 – World Down Syndrome Day
27 – Memorial to Christ’s Death (Jehovah’s Witness)
27 – Start of Passover* (Judaism)
28 – Holi (Hinduism)
31 – Trans Day of Visibility

APRIL

2 – World Autism Awareness Day
2 – Good Friday (Christianity)
4 – Easter Sunday (Christianity)
4 – End of Passover* (Judaism)
7 – World Health Day
8 – Yom HaShoah* (Holocaust Remembrance Day) (Judaism)
13 – Ramadan begins (Islam)
14 – International Day of Pink
14 – Vaisakhi Sikh New Year (Sikhism)
20 – First day of Ridvan (Baha’i)
22 – Earth Day
24 – Armenian Genocide Memorial Day (Canada)
26 – International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day
28 – National Day of Mourning (Canada)
30 – Holy Friday (Christianity)

MAY

Asia Heritage Month (Canada)

2 – Pascha (Christianity- Russian Orthodox)
12 – Last Day of Ramadan (Islam)
14 – Akshaya Tritiya (Hinduism)
17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
17 – Shavuot* (Judaism) – until sundown May 18
19 – Vaisakhi Puja (Buddhism)
21 – World Cultural Diversity Day
21 – Ascension Day (Christianity)
24 – Queen Victoria Day (Canada)
28 – Ascension of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
29 – International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

JUNE

Pride Month (Canada)
Indigenous History Month (Canada)

4 – International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
5 – World Environment Day
12 – World Day Against Child Labor
15 – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
16 – Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Sikhism)
20 – World Refugee Day
21 – National Indigenous Day- Canada (First Nations, Inuit Metis)
24 – Nativity of St. John the Baptist (Christianity – East. Orthodox and Western)
27 – Multiculturalism Day (Canada)

JULY

1 – Canada Day
11 – World Population Day
18 – Nelson Mandela Day
18 – Tishah B’av* (Judaism)
23 to 24 – Guru Purnima (Jainism, Buddhism)
24 – Asalha Puja Day (Dharma Day) (Buddhism)
30 – International Day of Friendship

 AUGUST

1 – Lammas (Christianity)
6 – Transfiguration of Christ (Christianity)
9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
10 – Al-Hijra New Year (Islam)
12 – International Youth day
13 to 15 – Obon Festival (Buddhism- Shinto)
19 – World Humanitarian Day
19 – Ashura (Islam)
21 – Raksha Bandhan (Hinduism)
23 – International Day of the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
29 – Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism)

SEPTEMBER

1 – Gur-gaddi Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)
6 – Labor Day
6 – Rosh Hashanah* (Judaism) – until sundown September 8
8 – International Literacy Day
10 – World Suicide Prevention Day
10 – Ganesh Chaturthi (Hinduism)
16 – Yom Kippur* (Judaism)
21 – International Day of Peace
21 – Sukkot* (Judaism) – until sundown September 28
23 – Bi Visibility Day
28 – Simchat Torah* (Judaism) – until sundown September 29
30 – Orange Shirt Day (Canada)

OCTOBER

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

1 – International Day of Older Persons
2 – International Day of Non-Violence
5 – World Teachers Day
6 to 14 – Navaratri (Hinduism)
10 – World Mental Health Day
11 – International Day of the Girl Child
11 – Thanksgiving (Canada)
15 – Dussehra (Hinduism)
17 – International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
18 – Mawlid Al-Nabi (Islam)
24 – United Nations Day

NOVEMBER

1 – All Saints’ Day (Christianity)
4 – Bandi-chhor Diwas (Sikhism)
4 – Diwali (Hinduism)
6 – Birth Of The Báb (Baha’i)
7 – Birth of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
11 – Veterans Day
16 – International Day for Tolerance
18 – World Philosophy Day
19 – Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Birthday (Sikhism)
20 – Transgender day of Remembrance
25 – Day of the Covenant (Baha’i)
25 – Thanksgiving Day
25 – International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women
30 – St Andrews Day (Christianity)

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 (Buddhism)
10 – Human Rights Day
20 – International Human Solidarity Day
25 – Christmas (Christianity)

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.