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Faith and Spirituality: Holy Days and Holidays Observed

Welcome to the Faith and Spirituality LibGuide! This guide highlights resources and information about religion and spirituality reflected currently on campus

WPI's Policy on Religious Observances

A student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day because of his/her religious beliefs shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement which he/she may have missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examination or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school.

Religious advisors

Religious advisors of WPI found here

Christian Holy Days and Holidays Observed

Epiphany: Jan. 6.

Also known as Three Kings' Day to remember the three wise men who visited Jesus as a baby.

Orthodox Christmas: Jan. 7.

Ash Wednesday: March 2.

This marks the first day of Lent leading up to Easter.

Palm Sunday: April 10.

The day celebrates Jesus’ return to Jerusalem.

Maundy Thursday: April 14.

This commemorates the night of the Last Supper with Jesus.

Good Friday: April 15.

The day set aside to honor Jesus’ crucifixion.

Easter: April 17.

Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. 

Orthodox Easter (Pascha): April 24.

Easter celebrates Jesus’ resurrection; it falls on a later day, with Orthodox churches following the Julian calendar.

Ascension Day: May 26.

This marks the day Jesus ascended into heaven.

Pentecost: June 5.

This honors the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ followers.

All Saints’ Day: Nov. 1.

The holiday celebrates the spiritual connection of all saints between the living and the dead.

Christmas Day: Dec. 25.

Agnostic Holy Days and Holidays Observed

9 February: Agnostic Martyrs' Day - to commemorate those whose profession of Agnosticism has brought them to harm at the hands of believers. This date chosen as the anniversary of the attack on our Matriarch of Mississippi. 

12 February: Darwin Day - to honor the man who provided extensive scientific evidence to support evolution. Charles Darwin was born on this day in 1809. "The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."

21 June: Solstice - a mid-summer observance (mid-winter in the Southern hemisphere

The 12 Days of Agnostimas - 21 December to 1 January to celebrate a traditional seasonal festival.

  • December: Solstice - the traditional mid-winter observance (mid-summer in the Southern hemisphere
  • 2 December: Apathetic Agnostic Resurrection - commemorates the return of the Apathetic Agnostic web sites to the internet in mid-December 2002 after a three week hiatus due to technical problems. This day following Solstice is appropriate because (at least in the Northern Hemisphere where we are based) the days are now getting longer.
  • 23 December: Festivus - for the rest of us . Invented in 1966 by Dan O'Keefe, whose son Daniel, a writer on Seinfeld, introduced a family tradition to the wider world, and now everyone can participate in an airing of the grievances and in feats of strength
  • 24 December: Agnostimas Eve
  • 25 December: Agnostimas - a good day to exchange gifts with friends and relatives in a spirit of generousness, with no need to care about any religious overtones. But we won't object if any traditionalists prefer to devote the day to its original purpose - the worship of Mithras.
  • 26 December: Boxing Day - the true origin of the name "Boxing Day" can only be answered with absolute certainty with an "I don't know!" And that is reason enough for agnostics to celebrate it. (If you happen to accept the unproven stories that the rich folks used to give the poor folks gift boxes on this day, then be happy about it, and make sure you give out a few gift boxes to the poor.)
  • 27 December: Heidentag - (German for Heathens' Day) Proposed as a warm and festive occasion for getting together, gift-giving, eating comfort food (usually a lot), listening to our favorite music
  • 28 December: Childermas - in view of the lack of any evidence to support the horror story of Matthew 2:16, a day to commemorate the inventions and falsehoods on which religion is based. (See Meditation 175)
  • 29 December: Apathy Day - sated with the celebrations, feasting, and gift exchanges of the festive season, we take a day to relax, recover, and generally not care about anything. For tomorrow, we start partying again.
  • 30 December: Friendship Day - to honor your friends and show the superiority of having friends instead of enemies. Created in reference to the pontifical decree Sancta Romania in 1317, in which Pope John XXII ordered the Franciscan Spiritualists to obey their superiors against their beliefs, which prompted the Spiritualists to become bitter enemies of the French pontiff by aligning with his enemy Louis IV.
  • 31 December - Foundation Day - to honor the 1995 foundation of the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic and / or the 1965 development of the term Apathetic Agnostic, together with "I don't know and I don't care" as a personal statement of (lack of) belief.
  • 1 January - Founder's Birthday is observed as the birthday of the Apathetic Agnostic Church founder

Jewish Holy Days and Holidays Observed

Jewish

Purim: March 16-17.

Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman in the days of Queen Esther of Persia.

Passover: April 15-23.

Passover (Pesach) celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.

Shavuot: June 4-6.

Shavuot marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are read in synagogues, just as they were in the desert on Mount Sinai over 3,300 years ago.

Rosh Hashanah: Sept. 25-27.

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of God as king.

Yom Kippur: Oct. 4-5.

Also known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

Sukkot: Oct. 9-16.

This festival is held to commemorate the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness.

Hanukkah: Dec. 18-26.

The festival of lights commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians

All Jewish holidays begin at sunset.

Hindu Holy Days and Holidays Observed

Holi: March 18.

The festival of colors to pray and wish for evil to be destroyed.

Navratri: Sept. 26-Oct. 5.

This nine-day festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

Diwali: Oct. 24.

The holiday celebrates the victory of light over darkness.

Muslim Holy Days and Holidays Observed

Isra and Mi’raj: Feb. 28-March 1.

Marks the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from mecca Jerusalem, and ascension.

Ramadan: April 2-May 2.

The month of fasting commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. It ends with the holiday Eid Al Fitr.

Laylat al-Qadr: April 29.

This celebrates the night that the first verses of Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

Eid al-Adha: July 9-10.

The Feast of the Sacrifice honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command.

Islamic New Year: July 29-30.

Prophet’s Birthday: Oct. 7-8.

Celebrates birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.