Thanks for visiting Sewanee’s Multifaith Calendar! Created as a project of the Interfaith Advisory Council, this resource is meant to help our campus community know about some of the diverse religious and ethical holidays celebrated by members of the Sewanee community. Use it as you plan programming and schedule events, or to learn about the rich religious diversity that exists at Sewanee.
Though we’ve made every effort to be inclusive, this calendar is not exhaustive; we focused primarily on major holidays identified by practitioners of the traditions represented on campus. If we’ve missed something you’d like to see included, or if you see something you’d like to have corrected, please email Rev. Ashley Mangum, Assistant chaplain for Pastoral Care and Interfaith Support and the University Chaplain.
If you would like to observe an important religious or ethical holiday, but are struggling to find the resources to do so on campus, please email Rev. Ashley Mangum, Assistant chaplain for Pastoral Care and Interfaith Support and the University Chaplain, the Rev. Peter Gray. We want to work with you to help the Mountain feel like a religious and spiritual home for all.
MultiFaith CalendaR 2021-2022
8/1 Pagan and Wiccan: Lughnasadh/Lammas, also known as the festival of the first fruits. It is the first of three harvest sabbats and is celebrated by working the entire day and feasting as a community for the entire night.
8/9-10 Muslim: Islamic New Year begins with the sighting of the crescent moon. Also known as the Hijri or Arabic New Year.
8/15 Roman Catholic Christian: The Feast of the Assumption celebrates the assumption of Mary (mother of Jesus) to heaven at the end of her life.
8/22 Hindu: Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana (July/August), and celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters.
8/22 - 9/1 Hindu: Ganesh Chaturthi/Onam marks Lord Ganesh’s arrival on earth; it celebrates Lord Ganesh as the god of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles as well as the god of wisdom and intelligence.
8/30 Hindu: Krishna Janmaashtami is the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. Celebrations include dressing up a murthi (consecrated idol) of Ladoo Gopal (Baby Krishna) and worshipping Lord Krishna.
9/4-11 Jain: Paryushana, also known as the Festival of Forgiveness, lasts either eight or ten days and is a time of intensive study, reflection, and purification. It culminates with a day focused on confession and asking for forgiveness.
9/6-8 Jewish: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown, and begins the Jewish New Year and the Days of Awe, a period of reflection on the past year and the year to come.
9/11 Coptic Orthodox Christian: Nayrouz (Coptic New Year) begins the new year for the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.
9/15-16 Jewish: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) begins at sundown on the 27th and ends at sundown on the 28th. A day of fasting and repentance, Yom Kippur marks the end of the Days of Awe or Days of Repentance, and is the holiest day in Judaism.
9/20-27 Jewish: Sukkot, or the Festival of Booths, begins at sundown on 9/20 and goes until 9/27. It is celebrated by the building of sukkot (sing. sukkah; outdoor shelters covered with greenery) as a commemoration of the autumnal harvest.
9/20 - 10/6 Hindu: Pitra Paksha is a 16 day holiday where many Hindus observe an all-vegetarian diet while also offering food to those in need.
9/21 - Various: Zhongqiu Jie (China), Chuseok (Korea), Tết Trung Thu (Vietnam) or Sampeah Preah Khae (Cambodia) is a harvest festival celebrated in much of East Asia and Southeast Asia. Traditions include viewing the full moon with family, eating moon cakes, reunions, and boat races.
9/21- 9/22 Pagan and Wiccan: Modron/Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) begins at sundown; sabbat is observed on the autumnal equinox. It is the first harvest holiday.
9/27-28 Muslim: Arba‘een, observed by Shi’a Muslims, begins at sundown and marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Islam’s prophet Muhammad.
9/28-29 Jewish: Simchat Torah marks the end of the annual cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of the new cycle.
10/5-7 Buddhist: Pchum Ben is a Buddhist Cambodian holiday which celebrates deceased ancestors. During the holiday it is believed that the veil between spirits and humans lifts so that spirits of ancestors are able to roam the earth.
10/7-14 Hindu: Sharad Navratri is a Hindu festival honoring the Goddess Durga.
10/15 Hindu: Dussehra (Vijayadashmi), is the tenth day after Navratri, which signifies the anniversary of defeat of Ravana at the Hands of Lord Rama, and the victory of good over evil.
10/18-19 Muslim: Mawlid (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday) begins at sundown and marks the birth of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.
10/19 Hindu: Sharad Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin, marking the end of the monsoon season.
10/20 Buddhist: Thadingyut Festival, also known as the Lighting Festival of Myanmar, is held on the full moon day of the Burmese lunar month of Thadingyut. It is held at the end of the Buddhist sabbath and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after the Thingyan Festival.
10/31-11/01 Pagan and Wiccan: Samhain marks the end of the year’s final harvest, a time to remember and honor the dead and celebrate the cycle of life. “Samhain” means “first frost”.
11/01 Christian: All Saints’ Day is a day of prayer and remembrance in some Christian denominations for those who have died.
11/01 - 11/02 Christian: Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican term associated with All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2), when Christians remember and pray for loved ones who have died. While it originated in Mexico, the holiday is increasingly observed across different Latinx communities.
11/2 Hindu: Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali in India; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, is worshipped and auspicious metals like gold or silver are purchased.
11/4 Hindu: Narak Chaturdashi focuses on worship of Lord Yama, the god of health and well-being; the holiday emphasizes overcoming laziness and evil.
11/4 Hindu, Jain, Sikh, and Buddhist: Diwali (also known as the Festival of Lights) is one of the most important Hindu festivals; lights and candles play a significant role in celebrations, which focus on light overcoming darkness. Jain, Sikh, and some Buddhist traditions also celebrate their own variations of Diwali.
11/5 Hindu: Govardhan Pooja is the celebration of the anniversary of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan Mountain to provide shelter and protection to the people from the wrath of Lord Indra.
11/6 Jain: Jain New Year is a joyful celebration the day following the Diwali festival.
11/6 Hindu: Bhaidooj is a festival when sisters pray for good health and wealth for their brothers.
11/6-7 Baha’i: Birthday of the Bab (1819-1850), who is honored by people of the Baha’i faith as the one who announced that God’s messenger would soon appear.
11/7 Baha’i: Birthday of Baha’u’llah (1817-1892), the prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith.
11/19 Sikh: Guru Nanak Ji’s Birthday, which celebrates the birth of the founder of Sikhism.
11/19 Hindu/Jain: Kartik Purnima is also known as “Devon ki diwali” which means the day on which all heavenly deities celebrate Diwali. In Jainism, many people begin a pilgrimage.
11/28-12/06 Jewish: Hanukkah, which begins at sundown, commemorates the Jewish victory over the Syrian Greeks, ending a three-year period of religious persecution.
11/28 - 12/24 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: For many Christians, Advent is a season of preparation and celebration, culminating at Christmas with the birth of Jesus Christ.
11/28-1/06 Orthodox Christian: The Nativity Fast is a period of abstinence and penance practiced by Orthodox Churches in preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.
12/08 Roman Catholic Christian: Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which celebrates the Roman Catholic belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was conceived without original sin.
12/08 Buddhist: Bodhi Day (Buddha’s Enlightenment) is the Mahayana Buddhist celebration of Buddha’s attainment of understanding.
12/12 Christian: The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to an indigenous man named Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. Devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe has spread beyond Mexico, and her feast is now observed across many nationalities and denominations.
12/21-1/01 Pagan and Wiccan: Yule, which begins at sundown, is a sabbat celebrated on the winter solstice, often observed as the rebirth of the great horned hunter god and the newborn solstice sun.
12/25 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus as God’s incarnation (coming to earth in bodily form).
1/7 Orthodox Christian: Feast of the Nativity, also known as the Nativity of the Most Holy Lady, marks the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary within the Orthodox Christian tradition.
1/14 Hindu: Makar Sankranti/Pongal/Lohri is a festival celebrated across India with different names, and signifies the transition of the Sun Lord from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.
1/18 Buddhist: Buddhist New Year is usually celebrated by Mahayana Buddhists on the first full moon day in January.
2/1 - 2/2 Pagan and Wiccan: Imbolc is the festival celebrated on the first signs of spring to come. A celebration of the earth's renewal, it is traditionally seen as a female-centered holiday.
2/1 Various: Lunar New Year. In Chinese tradition, 2022 is the year of the Tiger.
2/5 Hindu: Vasant Panchami encourages donations to those in need. The day marks the birth of the Goddess of Knowledge and Skills (Mata Saraswati).
2/16 Buddhist: Makha Bucha Day commemorates a spontaneous gathering of over a thousand monks to learn from the Buddha.
3/1 Hindu: Maha-Shivratri is a major festival which signifies the day of marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and the union of male and female powers in the universe. Lord Shiva is the destroyer of evils and Goddess Parvati is the nurturer to all.
3/1 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras is the day before the season of Lent begins. The day often involves celebration and feasting, in addition to ritual preparations for Lent.
3/2 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent; churchgoers are often marked on the forehead with a cross of ash to symbolize death and as acknowledgement of past sins. For many Christians, it is a day of fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance.
3/2 - 4/14 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days (not including Sundays), representing the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness. This 40 day period for Christians is a time to reflect, fast, and give penance in preparation for the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.
3/16-17 Jewish: Purim, a festival celebrating the saving of the Jews of Persia from the evil vizier Haman, begins at sundown on the 16th and ends the following evening on the 17th. Celebrations include wearing costumes and public readings of the Book of Esther.
3/17 Hindu: Holika Dahan, the night before Holi, involves lighting a bonfire to commemorate the victory of Prahlad over Holika.
3/19 Hindu: Holi, a popular ancient Hindu festival, also known as the Indian “Festival of Spring”, the “Festival of Colors”, or the “Festival of Love”. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil.
3/20-21 Pagan and Wiccan: Ostara is celebrated on the Vernal Equinox. It is a celebration of fertility, rebirth, and the balance between dark and light.
4/2 Hindu: New Year/Gudi Padwa marks the beginning of the Hindu year 2078.
4/2-11 Hindu: Chaitra Navratri involves praying to the nine representations of Goddess Durga over nine days and nights.
4/2 - 5/2 Muslim: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, charity, and community.
4/10 Hindu: Ram Navami is the ninth and final day of Chaitra Navratri and celebrates the birth of Lord Ram.
4/10 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Palm Sunday marks the start of Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, and commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
4/14 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus shared with his followers before his death.
4/14 Jain/Hindu: Mahavir Jayanti commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, the last tirthankara (spiritual teacher) of Jainism. The holiday is also observed by many Hindus.
4/15 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
4/15-23 Jewish: Pesach or Passover is the major Jewish spring festival which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery.
4/16 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Holy Saturday marks the day that Jesus’s body lay in the tomb before his resurrection.
4/16 Hindu: Hanuman Jayanti commemorates the birth of Lord Hanuman.
4/17 Roman Catholic and Protestant Christian: Easter or Resurrection Sunday commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It is a joyful celebration of the promise of new life.
4/24 Orthodox Christian: Pascha is the most important festival in the Orthodox Christian church, celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead following his crucifixion. It is also called Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday.
4/27-28 Jewish: Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorates the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, as well as the Jewish resistance in that period.
5/1 Pagan and Wiccan: Beltane is the celebration of the Green Man, also known as the Horned God. He is the consort to the mother Goddess, and this day celebrates their reunion.
5/2-3 Muslim: Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
5/3 Hindu: Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) is a highly auspicious day to begin new projects and buy ornaments or jewelry.
5/5 Secular Humanist and Atheist: National Day of Reason is a secular celebration for atheists, humanists, and other free-thinkers to celebrate reason and create community amongst non-religious people.
5/6 Buddhist/Hindu: Vesak, also known as Buddha Jayanti, Buddha Purnima, and Buddha Day, is a holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists and some Hindus in South and Southeast Asia as well as Tibet and Mongolia. The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha in Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism.
5/8 Hindu/Buddhist: Buddha Purnima is a primarily Hindu celebration of the birthday of Siddartha Gautama, later the Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism; the holiday is also observed by many Buddhists in India.