Religious Holidays

Washington and Lee University values diverse religious perspectives and beliefs. Our students celebrate and value a variety of religious traditions. We are committed to supporting our students observing their religious holidays, while also maintaining their commitment to their academic efforts. The catalog states the following university policy:

It is important to note that the faculty have authority to set their own attendance policies and have discretion to designate a student absence as "excused" or "unexcused" based on academic judgments.

A representative list of holy days for the 2017-18 academic year from several major traditions follows. These are only representative holidays and this list is not exhaustive. For a more complete listing, please visit the Interfaith Calendar.

Holiday / TraditionReligionDate(s)
August
Hajj Day Islam Aug 31
September
Eid-a-Adha Islam September 1-4
Rosh Hashanah Jewish September 21-22
Dasara Hindu September 30
Yom Kippur Jewish September 30
October
Simchat Torah Jewish October 13
Deepavali Hindu October 19
Birth of the Bab Baha’i October 20
November
Feast of All Saints Christian November 1
December
Feast of Immaculate Conception Christian December 8
Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) Buddhist December 8
Hanukkah Jewish December 13-20
Christmas Christian December 25
January
Solemnity of Mary Christian January 1
Mahayana New Year Buddhist January 2-4
Feast of the Epiphany (Orthodox) Christian January 6
February
Nirvana Day February 8
March
Good Friday Christian March 30
Magha Puja Day Buddhist March 31
Passover Jewish March 31-April 7
April
Holy Week (Orthodox) Christian April 1-8
Easter Christian April 1
Easter (Orthodox) Christian April 8
Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Jewish April 12
Festival of Ridvan Baha’i April 21
Buddha Day (Visakha Puja) Buddhist April 29
Therevadin New Year Buddhist April 30-May 2
May
Ascension Day Orthodox Christian May 17
Shavuot Jewish May 20-21
Buddha Day (Visakha Puja) Buddhist May 10
The Declaration of the Bab Baha'i May 23
Ascension of Bahá-u'lláh Baha’i May 29