Religious Holidays and Observances

For many, religious practice and observances are an essential part of personal identity and mental well-being; for some, it is inseparable from cultural identity. UC Santa Cruz observes 14 administrative holidays. Students, faculty and staff may observe religious holidays that are not also official university holidays.

The list included on this page does not include all spiritual and faith traditions, but it does reflect a commonly accepted categorization in the United States of major religious groups. We welcome community feedback in expanding and improving upon this list.

To share your feedback, please email

Accommodation Guidance 

For students, a religious accommodation may include being excused from class or lab time, receiving extensions on assignments, and rescheduling impacted quizzes, tests, or examinations. It may also include limiting or avoiding the use of technology, including virtual learning platforms. Some observances require fasting that may impact performance. Offering a refreshment or other break at sundown can serve to provide comfort and attention to observant students.

While absence from classes or exams for religious reasons does not relieve students of responsibility for completing all required coursework, unless approved by the instructor, instructors are encouraged to work with students observing religious holidays to ensure that they have an equitable opportunity to succeed in class.

Academic and administrative units are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations to help instructors support students in obtaining equitable outcomes when their religious practice conflicts with their academic schedule.

Class and assignments

Students are asked to let their instructors know ahead of time if they are going to miss class or if they need an extension on an assignment due to the celebration and observation of the religious days. It is best to do so in writing to ensure that there is documentation of the request.

Tests and examinations

It is the official policy of the University of California, Santa Cruz to accommodate, without penalty, requests for alternate test or examination times in cases where the scheduled time for the test or examination is in conflict with a student’s religious practice, unless the request cannot be reasonably accommodated.

Requests to reschedule a text or exam should be submitted directly to the instructor of record for the course as soon as possible after the test or examination is announced. 

If a student is unable to reach a satisfactory arrangement with the instructor, they should contact the department chair (or equivalent). If the department chair feels the request cannot be reasonably accommodated, they should consult with the Dean of Graduate Studies or the Dean of Undergraduate Education as appropriate.

See UCSC Final Examination Policies

Guidance for employees

Members of UC Santa Cruz’s vibrant employee community practice many religious and spiritual beliefs. Employees may take time off to observe special or religious holidays that are not included in the official UCSC administrative holiday calendar. Supervisors/managers are encouraged to work with employees to ensure they have an equitable opportunity to engage in their faith. Employees may use accrued vacation, paid time off (PTO) if applicable, or compensatory time off. Taking unpaid leave is also an option.

See University of California – Policy PPSM 2.210: Absence from Work

Fall Move-in Scheduling

UC Policy for Addressing Religious Holiday Conflicts with Residence Hall Move-in Days (2007)

Calendar of Religious Holidays 2024-25 Academic Year

Official UCSC 2023-24 Academic and Administrative Calendar

Official UCSC 2024-25 Academic and Administrative Calendar

Religious Holidays during the 2024-25 Academic Year

*Jewish holy days begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed.

Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev SahibSikhismYesFri, Jun 16
Holy Day of Arafah**IslamYesYesFri, June 14 – Sat., June 15
Eid-al-Adha **IslamYesSun, June 16 – Mon, June 17
Asalha Puja/Dharma DayBuddhismSat, July 20
The Seventeenth of TammuzJudaismYesTues, July 23
Eid al-Ghadeer **IslamSun, June 23 – Mon, June 24
Martyrdom of the BábBaha’iMon, July 8 – Tue, July 9
Awal MuharramIslamSun, Jul 7, 2024 – Mon, Jul 8, 2024
Tisha b’AvJudaismYesYesMon, Aug 12 – Tue, Aug 13
Krishna JanmashtamiHinduismYesMon, Aug 26
Arba’een **IslamSun, Aug 25 – Mon, Aug 26
Rosh Hashanah*JudaismYesWed, Oct 2 – Fri, Oct 4
Fast of GedaliahJudaismYesSun, Oct 6
Yom Kippur*JudaismYesYesFri, Oct 11 – Sat, Oct 12
Birth of the Prophet Muhammad(Sunni) **IslamMon, Sept 16
Sukkot*JudaismYesWed, Oct 16 – Wed, Oct 23
Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah* JudaismYesWed, Oct. 23 – Thur, Oct 24
Birth of the Prophet Muhammad(Shia) **IslamTue, Sept 3
Birth of Báb ***Baha’iYesSat, Nov 2
Birth of Bahá’u’lláh ***Baha’iYesSat, Nov 2 – Sun, Nov 3
Diwali**HinduismYesFri, Nov 1
Martyrdom of Guru Tegh BahadurSikhismYesSun, Nov 24
Guru Nanak GupurabSikhismYesFri, Nov 15
Hanukkah *JudaismDuring time candles are litWed, Dec 25 – Thu, Jan 2
Bodhi DayBuddhismSun, Dec 8
The Tenth of TevetJudaismYesFri, Jan 10
ChristmasChristianityWed, Dec 25 (UCSC holidays Thurs, Dec 25, Fri, Dec 26, and Mon, Dec 20)
KwanzaaInterfaith/African AmericanThu, Dec 26 – Wed, Jan 1
Feast of EpiphanyChristianityMon, Jan 6
Eastern Orthodox ChristmasOrthodox ChristianTue, Jan 7
SankrantiHinduismTue, Jan 14
Birthday of Guru Gobind Singh SahibSikhismYesMon, Jan 20
Birthday of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib **IslamSun, Jan 12, – Mon, Jan 13
Tu BiShvatJudaism Wed, Feb 12, 2025 – Thu, Feb 13
Lunar New YearInterfaith/National/InternationalJan. 29
Ash WednesdayChristianityWed, March 5
Parinirvana BuddhismSat, Feb 15
Magha PujaBuddhismWed, Feb 12
Nineteen-Day FastBaha’iYesFri, Feb 28 – Wed, Mar 19
Maha ShivaratriHinduismYesWed, Feb 26
Ramadan **IslamYesYesFri, Feb 28 – Sun, Mar 30
Ramakrishna JayantiHinduismYesSat, Mar 15
Eastern Orthodox Beginning of LentOrthodox ChristianMon, Mar 3
Naw-Rúz ***Interfaith/Baha’i/ZoroastrianYesThu, Mar 20 – Thu, Mar 20
NowruzPersian New YearYesThu, Mar 20
Fast of EstherJudaismYesThu, Mar 13
PurimJudaismThu, Mar 13 – Fri, Mar 14
Good FridayChristianityFri, Apr 18
EasterChristianitySun, Apr 20
Laylat Al-QadrIslamYesYesThu, Mar 27
Eid al-FitrIslamYesYesSat, Mar 29 – Sun, Mar 30
VaisakhiSikhismYesMon, Apr 14
Ridván ***Baha’iYesSun, Apr 20- Fri, May 2
Passover (Pesach) *JudaismYesFirstborn children only. Food restrictions everyone.Sat, Apr 12 – Sun, Apr 20,
Eastern Orthodox Good FridayOrthodox ChristianityFri, Apr 18
Eastern Orthodox EasterOrthodox ChristianitySun, Apr 20
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)JudaismWed, Apr 23 – Thu, Apr 24
Ascension DayChristianityThu, May 29
Declaration of the Báb ***Baha’iThu, May 22 – Fri, May 23
Vesak BuddhismMon, May 12
Shavuot *JudaismYesSun, Jun 1 – Mon, Jun 2
Easter Orthodox Ascension DayOrthodox ChristianityThu, May 29

**These holidays are calculated on a lunar calendar and are approximate. Islamic holidays begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed. 

***The Baha’i day ends and a new one begins at sunset; consequently, the day on which a holy day is observed begins at sunset the day before the Gregorian calendar dates given above.

Sources: A variety of sources were consulted to compile a list that includes religious holidays and observances in widely practiced religions.

Last modified: Jun 27, 2024