Religious Observance & Holidays


Students are permitted by university policy to be absent from class to observe a religious holiday. This policy reflects the University’s commitment to being responsive to our increasing diversity and to enabling students’ spiritual development. Accordingly, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering have established procedures to be followed by students for notifying their instructors of an absence necessitated by the observance of a religious holiday.  

Students who miss class to observe a specified religious holiday are expected to make prior arrangements with their instructor to make up any work missed, as follows.


  • At the beginning of each semester, you should notify each of your instructors of any religious holiday(s) that will necessitate your absence from classes that semester. Instructor policies regarding class attendance vary widely; you are responsible for being aware of individual faculty policies and for communicating any intended absences for religious observance.
  • During a semester, as a religious holiday approaches, you should send an official notification to your instructor that you will miss class in order to observe a religious holiday by completing and submitting this form. The form should be sent no later than one week prior to the date of the holiday.


  • When you submit this form, your instructor will be notified by e-mail and a copy will be sent to you. A copy will also be placed in a file which your academic dean may access.  In completing the form, you may find it useful to consult DukeHub, where you can view your class schedule to obtain the name and number of the course and the name of the course instructor.
  • Because religious holidays are scheduled in advance, instructors have the right to insist, where feasible, that you complete the course work prior to the anticipated absence in accordance with the course attendance policy.
  • Since absence from class due to observance of a religious holiday is excused according to University policy, no dean's excuse is required. If an instructor is unwilling or unable to excuse your absence from class, you should consult your academic dean. It is the responsibility of each instructor to communicate the University policy to his or her students and to accommodate reasonable requests.
  • Your electronic signature on the form affirms your compliance with the Duke Community Standard.

This procedure cannot be used during the final exam period, given the time limitations inherent in completing end-of-semester assignments or making up a missed final exam. You are expected to take final examinations at the scheduled times and to complete end-of-semester work by the deadlines set by the instructor. In the event that a religious holiday should fall during exam week, contact your academic dean well before the scheduled assignment or exam.

Religious Holidays

The university recognizes that the various religious traditions observed by our diverse student body include more holidays than can easily be included on a list. Not all holidays require students to miss class or reschedule assignments. Moreover, we recognize that observances vary by tradition and country and, in some faiths, in accordance with the lunar calendar. However, as a guide to faculty and students in the planning of their courses and assignments, members of the campus ministry have identified the dates of major religious holidays that occur when classes are being held during the academic year. This list is neither all-inclusive nor a formal designation of religious holidays recognized by the University; it is merely an aid for planning purposes. Students should take care to verify possible conflicts as early in the semester as possible and arrange appropriate accommodations well in advance. 

Baha’i  (holidays begin at sundown the previous day)

Naw Ruz   March 20-21, 2023


Bodhi Day

December 8

Losar (Tibetan New Year)

Tuesday, February 21 2023


Friday, May 5 2023

All Saints Day November 1
Epiphany (Orthodox)  January 19
Ash Wednesday Wednesday, February 23, 2023
Clean Monday (Orthodox) Monday, February 27, 2023
Good Friday Friday, April 7, 2023
Easter Sunday Sunday, April 9, 2023
Holy Friday Friday, April 7, 2023
Easter (Orthodox) Sunday, April 16, 2023
Ganesh Puja

Tuesday, September 19 2023

Navratri October 15 - October 24, 2023

Sunday, November 12th, 2023

Maakar Sankrantri

Sunday, January 15 2023


Saturday, February 18 2023

Holi Tuesday, March 7 2023
Ram Navami

Thursday, March 30 2023

Hanuman Jayanti  

Thursday, April 6 2023

Islamic Holidays*  
Ramadan (Students observing the holiday will be fasting with no food or water from dawn to sunset for 29-30 days.) March 11, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: Ramadan 1 1445)
Eid Al-Fitr April 10, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: 1 Shawwal 1445)
Yawm al-Arafah (Day of Arafa) June 15th, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: 9 Dhul Hijjah 1445)
Eid Al-Adha June 16, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: 10 Dhul Hijjah 1445)
Islamic New Year July 8, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: 1 Muharram 1446)
Ashura July 18, 2024 (Islamic Lunar Start Date: 10 Muharram 1446)


Jewish Holidays (holidays begin at sundown of the previous day)  
**Rosh Hashana (New Year) Evening of September 15-17, 2023
**Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement - 25 hour fasting) Evening of September 24-25, 2023
**Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles) Evening of September 29 - October 6, 2023
**Shemini Atzeret (8th day feast of Assembly)  Evening of October 6-7, 2023
**Simchat Torah (Festival of Rejoicing with the Torah) Evening of October 7-8, 2023
Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) Evening of December 7-15, 2023
Tu BiShvat (New Year for Trees) Evening of January 24-25, 2024
Purim (Festival of Lots) Evening of March 23-24, 2024
**Pesach (Passover - significant food restrictions)

Evening of April 22-30, 2024

Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day Evening of May 5-6, 2024
Yom HaZikaron (Israel's Memorial Day)

Evening of May 12-13, 2024

Lag B'Omer Evening of May 25-26, 2024
**Shavuot (Giving of the Torah/Pentecost) Evening of June 11-13, 2024
Tisha B'Av (Fast of the Destruction - 25 hour fasting) Evening of August 12-13, 2024


Vaisakhi Friday, April 14, 2023

* All Islamic and certain Hindu and Buddhist holidays are calculated on a lunar calendar and are approximate.

** Jewish holidays when traditionally work is forbidden and some students may not travel or write. 

NOTE: Traditional Jews also observe a work-free Sabbath, beginning every Friday night shortly before sundown, and lasting for 25 hours.


See also: