Holy days

McGill University recognizes and respects the diversity of its community, including diversity of religious faiths and observances. The University is committed to providing an environment in which its students can fulfill both their university and their religious commitments.


Faiths

The multifaith calendar is published as a service to the University community, according to Senate policy (see Chapter Seven in the Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities). This is not a conclusive list, and additional documentation may be requested from the student to demonstrate a religious commitment.

  • Aboriginal Spirituality

    Each band may have unique spiritual observances which, while not listed here as a holy day, may require accommodation.

  • Baha'i

  • Buddhism

    In the Western world, festivals are generally celebrated on the Sunday nearest the actual date.

  • Christianity

    The Gregorian calendar has been adopted by all Christian churches of the West. Most Eastern churches, however, continue to use the Julian calendar for religious purposes, though only a few use it exclusively. Nearly all Eastern churches still determine Easter according to the "Old Style" or Julian system, but most have adopted the "New Style" or Gregorian calendar for Christmas or Pentecost. At the present time, the Julian and Gregorian calendars are approximately 15 days out of phase.

  • Hinduism

    Specific dates may vary year to year based on the solar or lunar calendars. Dates can also vary depending on the time differential between Canada and India.

  • Islam

    Muslim holidays are based on a lunar calendar and observances may vary from the dates listed here, depending on the community. Congregation prayers are held every Friday 12:15 - 2:00 pm.

  • Judaism

    Sabbath starts Friday sundown. All holy days start sundown the night preceding the holiday.

  • Shinto

  • Sikhism

  • Wicca

    Evening observances commence at sundown. Solstice observances commence at sunrise.

  • Zoroastrianism

Holy days for the current academic year

This information was compiled with the assistance of the McGill Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (MORSL), based on the interfaith calendar. Questions about any date provided in this multifaith calendar should be sent to degeval.es [at] mcgill.ca (Enrolment Services).

* festival begins at sundown the day before this date
** date of celebration may vary based on local customs or according to moon sightings

Holy Days 2019

January
Date Faith Festival
January 1, 2019 Shinto Gantan-Sai (New Year's Day)
January 5, 2019 Sikhism Birthday Guru Gobind Singh Ji
January 6, 2019 Christianity Epiphany
January 6, 2019 Christianity (Orthodox) Feast of the Theophany (modified Julian Calendar)
January 7, 2019 Christianity (Orthodox) Feast of the Nativity **
January 13, 2019 Sikhism Maghi
January 14, 2019 Hinduism Makar Sankranti
January 18, 2019 - January 25, 2019 Christianity Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 20, 2019

Baha'i

World Religion Day *

February
Date Faith Festival
February 2, 2019 Wicca Imbolc * (The Feast of Waxing Light)

February 5, 2019

Buddhism

Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean/New Year

February 10, 2019

Hinduism

Vasant Pachami **

March
Date Faith Festival
March 6, 2019

Christianity

Ash Wednesday

March 11, 2019

Christianity (Orthodox)

Great Lent Begins

March 20, 2019 Wicca

Ostara *

March 21, 2019 Judaism Purim *
March 21, 2019 Hinduism Holi **

March 21, 2019

Baha'i

Naw Ruz (New Year's Day) *

March 21, 2019

Zoroastrianism

Norouz (New Year's Day)

March 22, 2019 Hinduism

Bikarami Samvat (Hindu New Year)

March 28, 2019 Zoroastrianism Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zarathustra)
April
Date Faith Festival
April 3, 2019 Islam

Israa & Miraj (Laylat al Miraj) *

April 14, 2019

Sikhism

Baisakhi

April 14, 2019

Christianity

Palm Sunday

April 14, 2019

Hinduism

Ramanavami

April 14, 2019 - April 20, 2019

Christianity

Holy Week

April 19, 2019

Christianity

Good Friday
April 20, 2019 - April 21, 2019, April 26, 2019 - April 27, 2019

Judaism

Pesach (Passover) *

April 21, 2019

Christianity

Easter

April 21, 2019 Islam Mid-Sha'ban (Nisf Sha'ban) *
April 21, 2019

Christianity (Orthodox)

Palm Sunday

April 21, 2019 - April 28, 2019

Christianity (Orthodox)

Holy Week

April 21, 2019

Baha'i

The Feast of Ridvan *

April 26, 2019

Christianity (Orthodox)

Good Friday

April 28, 2019

Christianity (Orthodox)

Easter

May
Date Faith Festival
May 1, 2019 Wicca Beltane *
May 2, 2019

Judaism

Holocaust Remembrance Day *

May 6, 2019

Islam

Ramadan Begins

May 18, 2019

Buddhism

Buddha Day O Visakha Puja ** (Vesak)

May 23, 2019 Baha'i The Declaration of the Báb *
May 29, 2019 Baha'i The Ascension of the Bahá'u'lláh *
May 30, 2019

Christianity

Ascension of Christ

June
Date Faith Festival
June 19, 2019

Islam

Laylat ul-Qadr (Laylat ul Kadar) 

June 23, 2019 - June 24, 2019

Islam

Eid al-Fitr - Ramadan Ends

June 31, 2019

Christianity

Pentecost
June 29, 2019 - June 30, 2019

Judaism

Shavuot *

June 16, 2019 Sikhism Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji
June 21, 2019 Wicca Litha *
June 21, 2019 Aboriginal Spirituality Aboriginal Day (Canada)
July
Date Faith Festival
July 9, 2019 Baha'i The Martyrdom of the Báb *
August
Date Faith Festival
August 1, 2019 Wicca Lammas (English/Scottish custom)
August 6, 2019 Christianity (Orthodox) Transfiguration Day (modified Julian Calendar)
August 10, 2019

Islam

Day of Hajj *

August 11, 2019 Judaism Tish'a B'Av *
August 12, 2019 - August 15, 2019

Islam

Eid ul-Adha * (The Festival of Sacrifice)

August 14, 2019

Hinduism

Raksha Bandhan **

August 23, 2019

Hinduism

Sri Krishna Jayanti (Krishna Janmashtami)

September
Date Faith Festival
September 1, 2019 Islam Al-HijraMuhrram * (Islamic New Year's Day)
September 2, 2019

Hinduism

Ganesh Chaturthi

September 10, 2019

Islam

Ashura *

September 23, 2019 Wicca Mabon *
September 30, 2019 - October 1, 2019

Judaism

Rosh Hashanah*

October
Date Faith Festival
October 8, 2019 Hinduism Dussehra (Dasara) **
October 9, 2019

Judaism

Yom Kippur *

October 14, 2019 - October 15, 2019

Judaism

Sukkot *

October 20, 2019

Sikhism

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth

October 21, 2019

Judaism

Shemini Atzeret *

October 22, 2019 Judaism Simhat Torah * (Rejoicing of the Law)
October 27, 2019

Hinduism/Sikhism

Diwali

October 29, 2019

Baha'i

The Birth of the Báb *

October 30, 2019 Baha'i The Birth of the Bahá'ulláh
November
Date Faith Festival
November 1, 2019

Wicca

Samhain *

November 1, 2019 Christianity All Saints' Day
November 10, 2019

Islam

Mawlid an-Nabi

November 12, 2019

Sikhism

Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib

November 24, 2019 Sikhism Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom
November 26, 2019 Baha'i Day of Covenant *
December
Date Faith Festival
December 1, 2019 Christianity First Day of Advent
December 23, 2019 - December 30, 2019 Judaism Hanukkah *
December 21, 2019 Wicca Yule *

December 25, 2019

Christianity

Christmas *

Holy Days 2020

January
Date Faith Festival

January 1, 2020

Shinto Gantan-Sai (New Year's Day)
January 5, 2020 Sikhism Birthday Guru Gobind Singh Ji
January 6, 2020 Christianity Epiphany
January 6, 2020 Christianity (Orthodox) Feast of the Theophany (modified Julian Calendar)
January 7, 2020 Christianity (Orthodox) Feast of the Nativity **
January 13, 2020 Sikhism Maghi
January 15, 2020 Hinduism Makar Sankranti
January 18, 2020 - January 25, 2020 Christianity Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 19, 2020

Baha'i

World Religion Day *

January 25, 2020

Buddhism

Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean/New Year **

January 29, 2020

Hinduism

Vasant Pachami **

February
Date Faith Festival
February 2, 2020 Wicca Imbolc * (The Feast of Waxing Light)
February 26, 2020

Christianity

Ash Wednesday

March
Date Faith Festival
March 2, 2020

Christianity (Orthodox)

Great Lent Begins

March 10, 2020 Hinduism Holi **
March 10, 2020 Judaism Purim *
March 20, 2020 Wicca

Ostara *

March 21, 2020 Hinduism

Bikarami Samvat (Hindu New Year) **

March 21, 2020

Baha'i

Naw Ruz (New Year's Day) *

March 21, 2020

Zoroastrianism

Norouz (New Year's Day)

March 22, 2020 Islam

Israa & Miraj (Laylat al Miraj) *

March 28, 2020 Zoroastrianism Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zarathustra) **
April
Date Faith Festival
April 2, 2020

Hinduism

Rama navami **

April 5, 2020

Christianity

Palm Sunday

April 5, 2020 - April 11, 2020

Christianity

Holy Week

April 9, 2020 Islam Mid-Sha'ban (Nisf Sha'ban) *
April 9, 2020 - April 15, 2020

Judaism

Pesach (Passover) *

April 10, 2020

Christianity

Good Friday
April 12, 2020

Christianity

Easter

April 12, 2020

Christianity (Orthodox)

Palm Sunday

April 12, 2020 - April 19, 2020

Christianity (Orthodox)

Holy Week

April 14, 2020

Sikhism

Baisakhi **

April 17, 2020

Christianity (Orthodox)

Good Friday

April 19, 2020

Christianity (Orthodox)

Easter

April 21, 2020

Baha'i

The Feast of Ridvan *

April 21, 2020

Judaism

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day *

April 24, 2020

Islam

Ramadan Begins *

May
Date Faith Festival
May 1, 2020 Wicca Beltane *
May 7, 2020

Buddhism

Buddha Day O Visakha Puja ** (Vesak)

May 19, 2020

Islam

Laylat ul-Qadr (Laylat ul Kadar) *

May 21, 2020

Christianity

Ascension of Christ

May 23, 2020 Baha'i The Declaration of the Báb *
May 23, 2020 - May 24, 2020

Islam

Eid ul-Fitr - Ramadan Ends

May 28, 2020 Baha'i The Ascension of the Bahá'u'lláh
May 29, 2020 - May 30, 2020

Judaism

Shavuot *

May 31, 2020

Christianity

Pentecost
June
Date Faith Festival
June 16, 2020 Sikhism Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Ji
June 21, 2020 Aboriginal Spirituality Aboriginal Day (Canada)
June 21, 2020 Wicca Litha *
July
Date Faith Festival
July 9, 2020 Baha'i The Martyrdom of the Báb *
July 28, 2020

Islam

Day of Hajj **

July 30, 2020 Judaism Tish'a B'Av *
July 31, 2020

Islam

Eid al-Adha * (The Festival of Sacrifice)

August
Date Faith Festival
August 1, 2020 Wicca Lammas (English/Scottish custom)
August 3, 2020

Hinduism

Raksha Bandhan **

August 6, 2020 Christianity (Orthodox) Transfiguration Day (modified Julian Calendar)
August 11, 2020

Hinduism

Sri Krishna Jayanti (Krishna Janmashtami) **

August 20, 2020 Islam Al-Hijra Muharram * (Islamic New Year's Day)
August 22, 2020

Hinduism

Ganesh Chaturthi **

August 29, 2020

Islam

Ashura *

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