Religious Holidays: Policy and Calendar

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Below find a memo sent from the University Provost and the University Chaplain to all entering students explaining Lehigh University's "Accommodation Policy" regarding religious holidays.  A calendar of religious holidays follows the policy statement. 


Religious Holidays

 AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU
AS A STUDENT AT  LEHIGH

Lehigh University extends hospitality to all persons regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic or social background, and the Religious Accommodation policy expresses the University’s respect for diversity in religious matters.

Although non-sectarian, Lehigh University honors the free exercise of religion. People from a wide variety of religious traditions live and work at Lehigh, and the University acknowledges that the demands of religious observance in some traditions may cause conflicts with classroom and work schedules. Like many other colleges and universities, Lehigh has adopted a policy to accommodate those who encounter conflicts between the demands of religious observance and the demands of work or study. This "accommodation policy" acknowledges the right of those who live and work and study at Lehigh to engage in religious observances, and the University is pledged to honor the exercise of that right.

This accommodation policy governs religious holidays. The university policy is to support any member of the Lehigh community who requests an absence due to the demands of religious holiday observance. Of course, nothing in this policy exempts a student from meeting course requirements or completing assignments, so the student will have to negotiate with the instructor any make-up work.

Faculty should be aware that in the fall semester students from various traditions may request accommodations as they refrain from work or ordinary secular activities, and this may include time spent traveling home for holiday observance.  How specific holidays are observed varies within traditions and even among families, and as a courtesy to the campus we note Jewish holidays that might affect the regular work and study activities of members of our community.  Please note that Jewish holidays begin the evening before the listed date, at sundown, and include important observances during those evenings.

Accommodations are to be dealt with on the basis of individual requests from students. Recall that religious holidays are numerous, and no holiday is privileged above another for the purposes of the Lehigh policy. For more information you may consult the calendar of religious holidays found on this website (see below). 

If you encounter a schedule conflict with your course work due to the demands of religious observance, here is what you should do:

 1.  Talk  with your instructor and indicate that you will be absent from class due to observance of religious holidays.

 2.  Arrange with the instructor to complete assignments.

 3.  If you run into difficulties, including a refusal to grant you an excused absence, please call the University Chaplain, Dr. Lloyd Steffen, at x83877 or e-mail him at lhs1.  The  Chaplain will speak with the faculty person, explain the accommodation policy adopted by the University and enforced by the Provost, and work to resolve any difficulties.

Lehigh’s Religious Accommodation Policy is published in the Student Handbook and all students have access to an online copy. Any questions about the Religious Accommodation policy should be directed to the University Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen (lhs1@lehigh.edu).

Thank you in advance for your continued cooperation in abiding by this policy.
 

_________________________                ___________________________ 
Patrick V. Farrell                                         Lloyd Steffen 
Provost                                                       University Chaplain 




Other Policies Regarding Religious Life at Lehigh
    

The University Chaplain's Office is responsible for all issues regarding Religious Life at Lehigh.  This designation of responsibility has been made by Lehigh University, a private institution of higher learning with no sectarian bias.  The University Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Steffen, reports to the Provost of the University in his role as University Chaplain. Questions about religious group activities, aid with programs, and other information or assistance should be directed to the University Chaplain's Office at x83877.  To assist students and visitors to campus, the following policy guidelines are observed:

1.  Questions regarding Religious Life, including those arising from religious groups and clubs, should be directed to the Chaplain's Office.

2.  Groups that invite visiting clergy or other religious professionals to campus should inform the University Chaplain's Office so that these visitors may receive a formal invitation from the University and thus be present on campus in conjunction with a religious activity.  As a private institution, Lehigh University could request that individuals not officially invited to campus be asked to leave.

3.  Religious materials may be distributed on campus, but the mode of distribution must be worked out in consultation with the Chaplain's Office.  The University observes a non-intrusion policy with respect to living quarters.  Religious group advisers must meet with students elsewhere than in residence halls, fraternities and sororities; and student residences on campus are not to be entered for purposes of distributing religious materials by any advisor or off-campus person.  The Chaplain's Office can assist in the effort to distribute materials in a non-intrusive way and arrange for alternative spaces for meetings, including the Dialogue Center.

4.  Reserving space on campus for religious life activities must be made through the Chaplain's Office.  The Dialogue Center at 661 Taylor Street is the preferred space for clubs that wish to meet for religious life activities, and requests for other space on campus must be made through the Chaplain's Office.  The Dialogue Center at 661 Taylor Street is available to religious life advisers for meetings with students, and the Dialogue Center may be scheduled for religious group meetings by contacting Terri Ball-Nicholas at 610-758-3877 or tlb311.

5.  Funding support requests for group events must be made through the Chaplain's Office prior to purchase, registration or commitment.  Forms are located on the "Document" page of the Chaplain's Office website.  Submit completed Funding Support Request Forms for approval to Terri Ball-Nicholas, The Dialogue Center at 661 Taylor Street, 610-758-3877 or tlb311@lehigh.edu.


        Religious Holidays  2019

 
 
JANUARY 2019
1
Mary, Mother of God - Catholic Christian
Feast Day of St Basil - Orthodox Christian
Gantan-sai (New Years) - Shinto
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus - Orthodox Christian
 
5
Twelfth Night - Christian
Guru Gobindh Singh birthday - Sikh
 
6
Epiphany - Christian
Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany) - Orthodox Christian
Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) - Christian
Nativity of Christ - Armenian Orthodox
7
Feast of the Nativity ** - Orthodox Christian
 
8
Feast of the Holy Family - Catholic Christian
 
13
Maghi - Sikh
Baptism of the Lord Jesus - Christian
 
17
Blessing of the Animals - Hispanic Catholic Christian
 
18-25
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Christian
 
19
Timkat - Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
 
20
World Religion Day - Baha'i
Tu BiShavat * - Jewish
 
21-23
Mahayana New Year ** - Buddhist
 
25
Conversion of St. Paul - Christian
 
 
FEBRUARY   2019
2
Candlemas - Presentation of Christ in the Temple - Christian
Imbolc - Lughassad * - Wicca/Pagan - Northern and Southern hemispheres
Saint Brighid of Kildare - Celtic Christian
 
3
St. Blaze Day - Christian
Setsebun-sai (beginning of spring) - Shinto
Four Chaplains Sunday - Interfaith
 
5
Chinese New Year - Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist
 
8
Nirvana Day - Buddhism
 
10
Cheesefare Sunday - Orthodox Christian
 
12
Triodion - Orthodox Christian
 
14
St. Valentine's Day - Christian
 
15
Nirvana Day ** - Buddhist - Jain
 
17
Triodion begins - Orthdox Christian
 
26
Intercalary Days begin - Baha'i
 
 
MARCH   2019
1
St. David of Wales - Christian
Intercalary Days end - Baha'i
 
2 - 20
Nineteen Day Fast * - Baha'i
 
3
Meatfare Sunday - Orthodox Christian
Transfiguration Sunday - Christian
 
5
Shrove Tuesday - Christian
 
6
Ash Wednesday - Lent begins- Christian
 
10
Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Christian
 
11
Clean Monday - Great Lent begins - Orthodox Christian
 
13
Birthday of L. Ron Hubbard - Scientology
 
17
St. Patrick's Day - Christian
 
19
St. Joseph's Day - Christian
 
20 Equinox
Ostara - Mabon * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
21
Norooz (New Year) - Persian/Zoroastrian
Naw-Rúz (New Year) * - Baha'i
Hola Mohalla - Sikh
Magha Puja Day ** - Buddhist
Lord's Evening Meal - Jehovah's Witness Christian
Purim * - Jewish
 
25
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Christian
 
28
Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zarathushtra) ** - Zoroastrian
 
 
April  2019
3
Laylat al Miraj * - Islam
 
9
Mahavir Jayanti ** - Jain
 
14
Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) - Sikh
Palm Sunday - Christian
 
17
Orthodox Sunday - Orthodox Christian
 
18
Maundy Thursday - Christian
 
19-21
Theravadin New Year ** - Buddhist
 
19
Good Friday - Christian
 
20-27
Pesach * - Jewish
 
20
Lazarus Saturday - Orthodox Christian
 
21
Easter - Christian
First Day of Ridvan * - Baha'i
Lailat al Bara'ah * - Islam
Palm Sunday - Orthodox Christian
 
23
St. George's Day - Christian
 
26
Holy Friday - Orthodox Christian
 
28
Pascha - Easter - Orthodox Christian
 
29
Ninth Day of Ridvan - Baha'i
 
30
St. James the Great Day - Orthodox Christian
 
 
MAY  2019
1
Beltane - Samhain * - Wicca/Pagan  Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
2
Last day of Ridvan *  - Baha'i
National Day of Prayer USA - Interfaith
Yom HaShoah - Jewish
 
3
Saints Philip & James - Christian
 
6
Ramadan begins * - Islam
 
9
Yom Ha'Atzmaut * - Jewish
 
18
Visakha Puja - Buddha Day ** - Buddhist
 
23
Declaration of the Bab * - Baha'i
Lag B'Omer * - Jewish
 
29
Ascension of Baha'u'llah * - Baha'i
 
30
Ascension of Jesus - Christian
 
 
JUNE   2019
1
Laylat al Kadr * - Islam
 
5-7
Eid al Fitr * - Islam
 
6
Ascension of Jesus - Orthodox Christian
 
9
St. Columba of Iona - Celtic Christian
Pentecost - Christian
 
9-10
Shavuot * - Jewish
 
15
Saint Vladimir Day - Christian
 
16
Guru Arjan martyrdom - Sikh
Trinity Sunday - Christian
 
19
New Church Day - Swedenborgian Christian
 
20
Corpus Christi - Catholic Christian
 
21  Solstice
Litha - Yule * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
22
First Nations Day - Canadian Native People
 
23
All Saints - Orthodox Christian
 
28
Sacred Heart of Jesus - Catholic Christian
 
29
Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul - Christian
 
 
JULY   2019
9
Martyrdom of the Bab * - Baha'i
 
11
St Benedict Day - Catholic Christian
 
13-15
Obon (Ulambana) ** - Buddhist/Shinto   ?
 
15
St. Vladimir the Great Day - Orthodox Christian
 
16
Asalha Puja Day ** - Buddhist
 
24
Pioneer Day- Mormon Christian
 
25
St. James the Great Day - Christian
 
 
AUGUST   2019
1
Lammas - Christian
Lughnassad - Imbolc * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres
Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Jesus - Orthodox Christian
 
6
Transfiguration of the Lord - Orthodox Christian
 
10
Tish'a B'av - Jewish
Waqf al Arafa * Islam
 
12-15
Eid al Adha * - Islam
 
15
Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary - Catholic Christian
Dormition of the Theotokos - Orthodox Christian
 
23
Krishna Janmashtami  ** - Hindu
 
29
Beheading of St. John the Baptist - Christian
 
 
SEPTEMBER  2019
1
Ecclesiastical year begins - Orthodox Christian
Hijra - New Year * - Islam
 
3
Paryushana Parva * - Jain
 
8
Nativity of Virgin Mary - Christian
 
10
Ashura * - Islam
 
14
Elevation of the Life Giving Cross (Holy Cross) - Christian
 
23 Equinox
Mabon - Ostara * - Wicca  Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
27
Meskel - Ethiopian Orthodox Christian
 
29
Michael and All Angels - Christian
 
30-October 1
Rosh Hashanah * - Jewish
 
 
OCTOBER   2019
4
St Francis Day - Catholic Christian
Blessing of the Animals - Christian
 
8
Dasara  ** - Hindu
 
9
Yom Kippur * - Jewish
 
14-20
Sukkot * - Jewish
 
14
Thanksgiving - Canada - Interfaith
 
18 
St. Luke, Apostle & Evangelist - Christian
 
20
Birth of the Báb * - Baha'i
Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth - Sikh
 
21
Shemini Atzeret * - Jewish
 
22
Simchat Torah * - Jewish
 
27
Christ the King - Christian
Diwali - Sikh - Hindu - Jain
 
28
Milvian Bridge Day - Christian
Jain New Year - Jain
 
29
Reformation Day - Protestant Christian
 
31
All Hallows Eve - Christian
Reformation Day - Protestant Christian
 
 
NOVEMBER   2019
1
All Saints Day - Christian
Samhain - Beltane * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
2
All Souls Day - Catholic Christian
 
10
Mawlid an Nabi * - Islam
 
12
Birth of Baha'u'llah * - Baha'i
Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib - Sikh
 
15
Nativity Fast begins - ends Dec. 24 - Orthodox Christian
 
23
Thanksgiving - Interfaith
 
24
Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahdur - Sikh
 
26
Christ the King - Christian
Day of the Covenant * - Baha'i
 
28
Ascension of  'Abdu'l-Baha * - Baha'i
Thanksgiving - Interfaith USA
 
30
St. Andrew's Day - Christian
 
 
DECEMBER   2019
1-24
Advent - Christian
 
6
Saint Nicholas Day - Christian
 
8
Bodhi Day  (Rohatsu) - Buddhism
Immaculate Conception of Mary - Catholic Christian
 
12
Feast day - Our Lady of Guadalupe - Catholic Christian
 
16-25
Posadas Navidenas - Hispanic Christian
 
21 Solstice
Yule - Christian
Yule - Litha * - Wicca/Pagan Northern and Southern hemispheres
 
23-30
Hanukkah - Jewish
 
24
Christmas Eve - Christian
 
25
Christmas * - Christian
Feast of the Nativity ** - Orthodox Christian
 
26
Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra) ** - Zoroastrian
St Stephen's Day - Christian
 
27
Saint John - Apostle and Evangelist - Christian
 
28
Holy Innocents - Christian
 
29
Holy Family - Catholic Christian
 
31
Watch Night - Christian
 
Notes:
1. * Holy days usually begin at sundown the day before this date. 
2. ** Local or regional customs may use a variation of this date.