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Religious Observance

At Ithaca College we uphold the diverse religious and spiritual traditions - each with their own set of beliefs, practices, and observances that are part of our community. To this end we make a reasonable effort to support students seeking an accommodation for religious observance.

Need Additional Support?

If you would like additional support or want to discuss how to communicate with faculty, staff, coaches, or supervisors, contact us at spirituallife@ithaca.edu

Religious Observance Policy

Excerpt from the College's Attendance PolicyIn accordance with  New York State Education Law (Section 224-a), students who miss class due to their religious beliefs shall be excused from class or examinations on that day. The faculty member is responsible for providing the student with an equivalent opportunity to make up any examination, study, or work requirement that the student may have missed. Any such work is to be completed within a reasonable time frame, as determined by the faculty member. 

A few suggestions:

  • Notify your course instructors at at the beginning of the semester with anticipated absences so that proper arrangements may be made to make up any missed work or examination. The student should consult their academic dean if an instructor is unable or unwilling to grant the request.  
  • See this sample email to request an accommodation for your classes.

Religious Observances for Fall 2021

The following are important religious holidays from a wide variety of traditions. It is not meant to be comprehensive—for that, please see the following website: http://www.interfaith-calendar.org/. We try to reflect our own student population and needs in our community. 

  • August 15: Feast of the Assumption of Mary (Catholic Christianity) - holy day marking the assumption of Mary’s body and soul into heaven
  • August 19: Ashura (Islam) – Commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, and when Moses fasted in gratitude for the liberation of the Israelites*
  • August 30: Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism) – Commemoration of the birth of Krishna *Fasting 
  • September 3: Paryushana Parva (Jainism) – Eight-day festival of forgiveness and self-discipline *Fasting
  • September 7-8: Rosh Hashanah (Judaism) – Jewish New Year and beginning of High Holy Days*
  • September 9: Tzom Gedaliah (Judaism) – Fast of the Seventh Month *Minor fasting September 10: Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi (Hinduism) – commemorates the birth of Ganesh
  • September 16: Yom Kippur (Judaism) – Day of Atonement*
  • September 21-27: Sukkot (Judaism) – Feast of Tabernacles*
  • September 28: Shmini Atzeret (Judaism) – Eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles*
  • September 29: Simchat Torah (Judaism) – Celebration the beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle*
  • October 6-14: Navratri (Hinduism) – Festival of the divine mother in all her forms
  • October 14: Dussehra (Hinduism) – Commemoration of the last of the days of judgment
  • November 1: All Saints’ Day (Christianity) – Honors all saints known and unknown
  • November 1: Samhain (Wiccan, Pagan) – Festival honoring endings, beginnings, and the dead*
  • November 2: All Souls’ Day (Christianity) – Commemoration of the souls of those who have died
  • November 4: Diwali (Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism) – Festival of Lights 
  • November 7: Birth of Baha’u’llah (Bahá’í Faith) – Celebration of the birth of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith 
  • November 29 – December 6: Hanukkah (Judaism) – Festival of Lights
  • December 8: Bodhi Day (Buddhism) – Celebration of Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment
  • December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Catholic Christianity) – Observes the immaculate conception of Mary by Joachim and Anne
  • December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic Christianity) - Celebration of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego in Tepeyac in 1531
  • December 14: Asara B'Tevet (Judaism) – The Tenth of Tevet 
  • December 25: Christmas (Christianity) – Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ

*Some holidays start at sundown of the evening of the listed start date and end at sundown or nightfall of the concluding date listed.

A comprehensive list of religious observances can be found here: https://www.interfaith-calendar.org