Religious and Cultural Holidays

This is a list of cultural and religious holidays that occur during the 2023-24 school year to consider when planning programs, activities and events. This is not an exhaustive list and there may be other holidays that pose conflicts for students. If there is a holiday or cultural celebration that should be added to this list please email [email protected].


  • Jewish holy days begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed.
  • These holidays are calculated on a lunar calendar and are approximate. Some cultural holidays might vary from year to year because they use the lunar calendar.

4 – Fourth of July: This U.S. federal holiday celebrates the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

28-2910th of Muharram (Ashura): This day marks the day on which Husayn (Prophet Muhammad’s grandson) was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. Some Muslims might spend this day by fasting and in mourning.

18Lord Krishna’s Birthday: This day is the birthday of one of the most popular deities in the Hindu faith, Lord Krishna. It is also known as Janmashtami.

26Women’s Equality Day: This day marks the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the year 1920.

24-31Paryushan: This is the festival of forgiveness and compassion. It is a time when the Jains take on vows of study and fasting.

5 – Labor Day: This U.S. federal holiday recognizes the many contributions workers have made to America.

9-12 – Chuseok. This is the Korean Thanksgiving, when family members gather during the full harvest moon to show gratitude to their ancestors for a fruitful harvest.

15-17 – Rosh Hashanah: This holiday is the Jewish New Year.

16 – Mexican Independence Day: On this day in 1810, Mexico declared independence from Spain.

24-25 – Yom Kippur: This marks the end of the Days of Awe or Days of Repentance, which begin with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. 

26-27 – Milad-Un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammed): This day celebrates the great prophet and founder of Islam.

9-16 – Sukkot: This is one of the three major festivals in Judaism and is both an agricultural festival of thanksgiving and a commemoration of the 40 years that Jews spent in the desert after escaping slavery in Egypt.

10 – Indigenous People’s Day: This day recognizes the Indigenous communities that have lived in America for thousands of years.

10 – Columbus Day: This U.S. federal holiday commemorates explorer Christopher Columbus landing in America.

11 – National Coming Out Day: This annual celebration has a goal of shining light on individuals within the LGBTQ community and their decisions to share their gender identities and sexual orientation with the public.

14 – Defender of Ukraine Day: This day celebrates those who have fought for the freedom of Ukraine.

17-18 – Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah: This is a festive and joyful celebration of the Jewish people’s love and commitment to Torah.

31 – Halloween: The history of Halloween dates back to a pagan festival called Samhain when people would dress up as saints and go door-to-door.

1 – All Saints Day: This day is celebrated by many Roman Catholics and other Christians to honor all saints of the church deemed to have attained heaven.

1-2 – Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration.

11 – Veterans Day: This day honors America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

12 – Diwali: Hindus in India celebrate the return of Lord Rama after 14 years of exile on this day.

24 – Thanksgiving: This American holiday commemorates the colonial Pilgrims’ harvest meal that they shared with Wampanoag Indians (who were key to the survival of the colonist during the first year they arrived in 1620).

3 – Los Posadeas: This is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and parts of the United States.

8 – Bodhi Day: Buddhist celebrate this day to commemorate the enlightenment that Lord Buddha achieved through meditation.

7-15 – Hanukkah: This Jewish holiday celebrates Jews rising up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.

25 – Christmas: This Christian holiday marks the birth of their lord and savior, Jesus Christ

26-Jan. 1 – Kwanzaa: This 7-day holiday, often celebrated by Black Americans, was inspired by African harvest celebrations.

Dec.26-Jan. 1 – Kwanzaa: This 7-day holiday, often celebrated by Black Americans, was inspired by African harvest celebrations.

1 – Emancipation Proclamation: President Lincoln declared all individuals held in slavery free on this day in 1863.

6 – Feast of the Epiphany: This Christian feast day celebrates the star leading the three wise men to baby Jesus, closing the Christmas season.

15 – Makar Sankranti/Uttarayan: This Hindu harvest festival is dedicated to the God of the sun, Surya. Kite flying is also an important activity on this day.

16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day: This day celebrates one of the best-known civil rights activists in the United States.

22 – Lunar New Year: This festival marks the start of the new year in the lunar calendar.

12 – Lincoln’s Birthday: This holiday honors the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president.

15 – Nirvana Day: This annual festival commemorates the death of the Buddha after attaining complete Nirvana.

20 – Presidents Day: This U.S. federal holiday originally honored the U.S. first president, George Washington. The day is sometimes acknowledged as also celebrating Lincoln’s birthday.

22 – Ash Wednesday: This is a day of prayer and fasting that begins the Christian season of Lent.

6-7 – Purim: This Jewish festival commemorates the survival of the Jews who, in the 5th century, were marked for death by their Persian rulers.

6 – Madha Puja: This festival is in honor of the Sangha, or the Buddhist community, and is a chance for people to reaffirm their commitment to Buddhism.

8 – International Women’s Day: This day highlights the political, social, cultural and economic achievements of women.

11 – Ramadan: This is Islam’s sacred month. During this time Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk.

17 – St. Patrick’s Day: This feast of a Catholic saint inspires cultural and religious celebrations around the world.

25 – Holi (Festival of Colors): This Hindu holiday celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

2 – World Autism Awareness Day: This day seeks to raise awareness of those with autism and to improve their lives and acceptance in society.

7 – Good Friday: This is an important holiday in the Christian religion as it commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

8 – Vesak (Buddha’s Birth): This holiday commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, which are all said to have happened on the same date.

9 –  Easter: This important Christian holiday celebrates Jesus’ resurrection.

10 – Eid-Ul-Fitr: This Islamic holiday is celebrated after 30 days of fasting.

22 – Earth Day: This holiday applauds the planet we live on and all it does for us.

22-30 – Passover: This major Jewish festival celebrates the freeing of Israeli slaves.

5 – Cinco de Mayo: This Mexican-American holiday celebrates Mexico’s defeat of the French Army.

17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia: This day seeks to raise awareness for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.

25 – Shavuot: This major Jewish festival commemorates the giving of the Law (the Torah).

29 – Memorial Day: This U.S. federal holiday honors and mourns individuals who died while serving in the United States military.

19 – Juneteenth: This day commemorates when the last African Americans learned of the Emancipation Proclamation.