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 2016-17 academic year from several major traditions follows. These are only representative holidays and is not an exhaustive list. For a more complete listing, please visit the Interfaith Calendar.

Holiday / TraditionReligionDate(s)
Hajj Day Islam September 10
Eid-a-Adha Islam September 11-14
Rosh Hashanah October 3-4
Dasara Hindu October 11
Yom Kippur Jewish October 12
Birth of the Bab Baha’i October 20
Simchat Torah Jewish October 25
Deepavali Hindu October 30
Feast of All Saints Christian November 1
Feast of Immaculate Conception Christian December 8
Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) Buddhist December 8
Hanukkah Jewish December 25 - January 1
Christmas Christian December 25
Solemnity of Mary Christian January 1
Feast of the Epiphany (Orthodox) Christian January 6
Mahayana New Year Buddhist January 12-17
Nirvana Day February 15
Magha Puja Day Buddhist March 12
Holy Week (Orthodox) Christian April 9-15
Therevadin New Year Buddhist April 11-14
Passover Jewish April 11-18
Good Friday Christian April 14
Easter Christian April 16
Easter (Orthodox) Christian April 16
Festival of Ridvan Baha’i April 21
Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Jewish April 23
Buddha Day (Visakha Puja) Buddhist May 10
The Declaration of the Bab May 23
Ascension Day Orthodox Christian May 25
Ascension of Bahá-u'lláh Baha’a May 29
Shavuot Jewish May 31 – June 1