Most of the world’s religions observe certain days to remember significant people, events or beliefs. Many of these celebrations can be kept privately by adherents in their own time. But some adherents of a religion might consider themselves obliged on certain days (because of long-established custom or a religious law code) to abstain from work, attend a place of worship, and/or restrict the kind of food which they may eat.
This calendar does not attempt to identify every significant celebration in every world religion. It only lists those observances which may impact the working arrangements of university staff or students. Every religion has adherents of varying degrees of strictness. These notes can only be a guide to what observant followers of religions are likely to require or appreciate.
Movable feasts have currently been added for dates up to December 2013. First time users should also see the additional notes, below.
This calendar identifies
REST DAYS on which followers of a religion consider themselves expected to abstain from work.
FAST DAYS on which followers of a religion consider themselves expected to restrict their food intake (fast).
DAYS FOR WORSHIP: Major festivals on which some flexibility might be needed to help an adherent attend a place of worship if the timing and travel distance make it difficult to do so in the person’s own time.
Certain Muslim festivals depend on the sighting of the new moon, and may be a day later than published.
Those observances marked ◐ begin at sunset the previous evening, which may impact the previous working day, especially in winter months.
This calendar is based on research on the nine faiths which are part of the UK Interfaith Network. Individual requests to accommodate religious observance may not be reflected here because:
• There may be students and staff members who follow religions not listed here.
• There are two or three different calendars in some religions, so not all adherents keep the same feast on the same day.
• Many religions follow a lunar calendar and dates of the same feast may vary slightly in different parts of the world.
It would be advisable to ask a new student or staff member to look at this faith calendar and to indicate any personal religious observances which should be taken into account but which are not listed here. The Chaplaincy will be happy to provide advice concerning observances not listed here, on request.
In the case of Christianity, the Western calendar has been used. If an employee or client is a member of an Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox church, they may follow one of several different religious calendars. Orthodox Easter and Pentecost will always fall on Sundays, which are already marked as Christian Days of Rest for Worship. The calendar above will include Great Friday (when it occurs on a date which differs from Western Good Friday), Nativity and Theophany. Other Eastern Christian feasts and fasts will not be reflected in the calendar above; you may wish to refer to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Calendar.