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Home » Policy & Funding » Equity and Civil Rights » Religion in Schools » Common Religious and Public Holidays for the 2018-19 school year

Common Religious and Public Holidays for the 2018-19 school year

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Equity & Civil Rights

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Many students end up missing school and important school events in order to honor their religious practices. For this reason, OSPI encourages districts not to schedule significant school events on major religious holidays. Schools that plan around major religious holidays convey to all students that they are a meaningful part of their school communities and that their religious traditions matter. The purpose of the calendar below is to assist in this effort to raise awareness about religious holidays practiced in public schools across the state of Washington.

OSPI encourages each local education agency to educate themselves on the religious traditions of the students and communities they serve, strive to honor all religious communities, and work to be inclusive of all students. School personnel can use this calendar when responding to student requests for excused absences for religious purposes or when planning events such as curriculum nights, field trips, school or team pictures, dances, and hearing and vision tests, etc.

For more information about the religions commonly practiced in your community:
Religious Landscape Study (Pew Research Center)

Calendar based on Calendar of Holidays and Religious Observances used by University of Washington

NOTES:
All Jewish and Islamic holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the first date shown.
* These holidays (or dates within holidays) are designated non-work (observance) days.
# Some of these dates are not fixed to a calendar but based on the actual sighting of the moon and therefore there may be some variance by a day.

Holiday or Observance Religious Group Dates Additional Notes
Eid al-Adha Islamic Aug. 22, 2018 # Date not fixed. See note above.
Janmashtami Hindu Sept. 2, 2018  
Labor Day   Sept. 3, 2018 No school
*Rosh Hashanah (New Year) Jewish Sept. 10-11, 2018 Rosh Hashanah kicks off several weeks of Jewish holidays in the fall. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two most-observed Jewish Holidays, called the high holy days. Designated non-work day for observers
Muharram (Al Hijrah New Year) Islamic Sept. 12, 2018  
*Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Jewish Sept. 19, 2018 Holiest and most observed Jewish holidayDesignated non-work day for observers
Holiday or Observance Religious Group Dates Additional Notes
*Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Jewish Sept. 24-30 2018 *Sept. 24-25 primary observation days
Designated non-work day for observers
*Shmini Atzeret Jewish Oct. 1, 2018 Designated non-work day for observers
*Simchat Torah Jewish Oct. 2, 2018 Designated non-work day for observers
Indigenous Peoples' Day   Oct. 8, 2018  
Navaratri/Dassehra Hindu Oct. 9-18, 2018  
Diwali Hindu Nov. 7, 2018  
Veteran's Day   Nov. 11, 2018 Observed Nov. 12, 2018
Mawlid-al-Nabi (birthday of Mohammad) Islamic Nov. 20, 2018 # Date not fixed. See note above.
Thanksgiving Day   Nov. 22-23, 2018 No school
Hanukkah (Chanukah) Jewish Dec. 3-10, 2018  
Christmas Day Christian Dec. 25, 2018 No school
New Year's Day   Jan. 1, 2019 No school
Orthodox Christmas Christian Orthodox Jan. 7, 2019  
Martin Luther King Day   Jan. 21, 2019 No school
Lunar New Year   Feb. 5, 2019  
President's Day   Feb. 18, 2019 No school
Maha Shivaratri Hindu Mar. 4, 2019  
Ash Wednesday Christian Mar. 6, 2019  
Beginning of Lent Christian Mar. 6, 2019  
Holi Hindu Mar. 21-22, 2019  
Purim Jewish Mar. 21, 2019  
Ramanavami Hindu Apr. 14, 2019  
Cambodian New Year   Apr. 14-16, 2019 The holiday lasts for three days beginning on New Year's Day
Good Friday Christian Apr. 19, 2019  
Easter Christian Apr. 21, 2019  
*Passover (Pesach) Jewish Apr. 20-27, 2019 *Apr. 20-21, 26-27 Primary Obligation Days, particularly the 20-21
Designated non-work day for observers
Orthodox Good Friday Christian Orthodox Apr. 26, 2019  
Orthodox Easter Christian Orthodox Apr. 28, 2019  
Beginning of Ramadan Islamic May 6, 2019 # Ramadan: May 6-Jun. 5, 2019
Dates not fixed. See note above.
Memorial Day   May 27, 2019 # No school
Lailat Ul Qadr Islamic May 31, 2019 # Date not fixed. See note above.
Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Islamic Jun. 5, 2019 # Ramadan: May 6-Jun. 5, 2019
Dates not fixed. See note above.
*Shavuot Jewish Jun. 9-10, 2019 Designated non-work day for observers
Independence Day   Jul. 4, 2019 No school
Eid al-Adha Islamic Aug. 12, 2019 # Date not fixed. See note above.
Janmashtami Hindu Aug. 23, 2019