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Religious and Spiritual Days of Observance 2024

The following are dates of some commonly observed religious, spiritual, and/or cultural observances that members of the University of Waterloo community may consider when planning class requirements, examinations, or events. These dates of significance may require formal accommodation under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and the University has a duty to accommodate religious and spiritual observances.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and there are many days of significance celebrated across the diverse communities represented in the University of Waterloo. The absence of a date on this list does not mean that this observance does not require an accommodation if requested. Additionally, some of the dates may vary (sometimes substantially) due to diversity within communities, regional specificity, lunar calendars, time zone differences, incompatibility with the Western Gregorian calendar, etc. Deference regarding dates should be given to the individuals requesting accommodation.

This list of dates should not be used to vet the legitimacy of requests for accommodation related to religious or spiritual days of observance. Rather, it is designed to be a guide for planning purposes and may signal potential conflicts or provide dates to avoid when planning course requirements, events, or celebrations.

Please contact us at equity@uwaterloo.ca if you have any questions about this list. 

Winter Term

January 2024

January 2024

  • January 1 – Gantan-sai(Shinto)
  • January 6 – Christmas (Armenian Apostolic Church)
  • January 6 – Epiphany/Theophany (Armenian Apostolic Church; Christian)
  • January 7 – Christmas/Feast of the Nativity (Orthodox Christian)
  • January 13– Lohri (Sikhism)*
  • January 15 – Makar Sankranti/Pongal/Maghi/Uttarayan (Hinduism)*
  • January 25 – Mahayana New Year (Buddhism; Mahayana countries cultural observance in regions across Asia) *
  • January 25 – Tu B'Shvat* (Jewish New Year’s Day for Trees and Tradition)

February 2024

February 2024

  • February 1 – Imbolc (Wiccan)
  • February 6 – 7 Lailat al-Miraj (Islam)*
  • February 10 – Lunar New Year (Confucian, Daoist and Buddhism)
  • February 10 – 12 Losar/Tibetan New Year (Buddhism; cultural observance in Tibet
  • February 13 – Shrove Tuesday (Western Christian – last feast before Lent begins)
  • February 14 – Ash Wednesday (Western Christian – first day of Lent)
  • February 14 – Vasant Panchami (Hinduism)*
  • February 15 Nirvana or Parinirvana Day (Buddhism)
  • February 21 - International Mother Language Day (Indigenous Peoples around the world; observance around the world)
  • February 24 – Chötrul Düchen (Tibetan Buddhism)*
  • February 24 – Magha Puja (Buddhism)*
  • February 26 to February 29 – Ayyam-I-ha/ Intercalary Days (Pre- fast Bahá’í)*

March 2024

March 2024

  • March 1 to March 19 – Nineteen Day Fast (Bahá’í)*
  • March 8 – Maha Shivaratri (Hinduism)
  • March 10 to April 8– Ramadan (Islam)
  • March 19 – Ostara (Wiccan)
  • March 20 – Naw-Rúz/Norooz/Nowruz (Bahá’í; Zoroastrian; cultural observance in Iran)*
  • March 23 to 24 – Purim (Judaism)*
  • March 24 – Palm Sunday (Christian)*
  • March 25 – Holi (Hinduism)*
  • March 26 – Khordad Sal (Zoroastrian)*
  • March 29 – Good Friday (Armenian Apostolic Church; Christian)*
  • March 31 – Easter (Armenian Apostolic Church; Christian)*

April 2024

April 2024

  • April 6 – Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) (Islam)*
  • April 9 - First day of Chaitra/New Year/Gudi Padwa/Puthandu/Ugadi (Hinduism)*
  • April 10 - 12 – Eid-al-Fitr (Islam)* | Begins at sunset on April 9, 2024 and ends on Friday, April 12, 2024
  • April 13 – Vaisakhi (Sikhism)
  • April 13 to 15 – Songkran (Cultural observance in Thailand)*
  • April 17 – Ram Navami (Hinduism)*
  • April 21 – First Day of Ridván (Bahá’i)*
  • April 21 - Mahavir Jayanti (Jainism)
  • April 22 to April 30 – Passover/Pesach (Judaism)
  • April 23 – Chaitra Navapada Oli (Jainism)*
  • April 23 Hanuman Jayanti (Hinduism)*
  • April 24 to 26 Theravada New Year (Buddhism)*
  • April 28 – Ninth Day of Ridván (Bahá’i)*

Spring Term

May 2024

May 2024

  • May 1 – Beltane (Wiccan)
  • May 2 – Twelfth Day of Ridván (Bahá’i)*
  • May 3 – Holy Friday (Orthodox Christian)*
  • May 4 – Orthodox Holy Saturday
  • May 5 – National Day of Awareness for Missingand Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ Peoples/Red Dress Day (Indigenous Peoples in Canada and USA; observance across Canada)
  • May 5 – Orthodox Easter
  • May 23 – Wesak/Vesak (Buddhism)*
  • May 29 – Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh (Bahá’í)*

June 2024

June 2024

  • June 11 to June 13 – Shavuot (Judaism)*
  • June 14 to June 19 – Hajj Pilgrimage (Islam)*
  • June 16 to June 17 Eid-al-Adha (Islam)*
  • June 20 – Summer Solstice (Indigenous Peoples)
  • June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day (Indigenous Peoples in Canada; observance across Canada)

July 2024

July 2024

  • July 7 – Islamic New Year/Hirji New Year (Islam)*
  • July 9 – Martyrdom of the Báb (Bahá’í)*
  • July 11 – Imamat Day (Isma’ili Islam)*
  • July 16 – Ashura (Islam)*
  • July 21 – Asalha Puja/Dharma Day (Theravada Buddhism)*
  • July 21 Guru Poornima (Buddhism; Hinduism; Jainism)*

August 2024

August 2024

  • August 1 – Lammas (Wiccan)
  • August 9 – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples (Indigenous Peoples around the world)
  • August 12 Tish’a B’av (Judaism)*
  • August 13 to 15 – Obon (Japanese Buddhism)*
  • August 19 – Raksha Bandhan (Hinduism)*
  • August 26 –Krishna Janmashtami (Hinduism)*
  • August 31 – Paryushan-Parvarambha (Jainism)*

Fall Term

September 2024

September 2024

  • September 19 – Ganesh Chaturthi (Hinduism)*
  • September 8 Samvastsari Parva (Jainism)*
  • September 16 – Mawlid al Nabi (Islam)*
  • September 19 – Powley Day Ontario (Métis Nation of Ontario; Métis communities across Canada)
  • September 21 to 29 Mabon (Wiccan)
  • September 30 – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Indigenous Peoples across Canada; observance across Canada)
  • September 30 – Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) Pow-wow (Indigenous Peoples and members of the University of Waterloo Community)

October 2024

October 2024

  • October 22– Hoshana Rabbah (Judaism)*
  • October 9 to 16 – Ashwina Navapada Oli (Jainism)*
  • October 3 to October 12– Navratri (Hinduism)*
  • October 11 to 12 – Yom Kippur (Judaism)*
  • October 13 – Dussehra (Hinduism)*
  • October 16 to October 23 – Sukkot (Judaism)
  • October 20 – Installation of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (Sikhism)
  • October 23 to 24 – Shemini Atzeret (Judaism)*
  • October 24 to 25 – Simchat Torah (Judaism)*
  • October 25 – The Haldimand Treaty of 1784 Proclamation Anniversary (Observance of those working and living on the Haldimand Tract)
  • October 31 – Samhain (Wiccan)
  • October 29 – November 3 Diwali (Hinduism; Jainism; Sikhism)

November 2024

November 2024

  • November 1 – Bandi Chhor Divas (Sikhism)*
  • November 2 – Birth of the Báb (Bahá’í)*
  • November 3 – Birth of Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá’í)*
  • November 5 to 11 – Treaty Recognition Week (Indigenous Peoples across Ontario; observance across Ontario)*
  • November 7 – Inuit Day (Inuit around the world)
  • November 8 – National Indigenous Veterans Day (Indigenous Peoples across Canada; observance across Canada)
  • November 15 - Birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Sikhism)*
  • November 25 - Day of the Convenant (Bahá’í)*
  • November 26 –27 Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Bahá’í)*

December 2024

December 2024

  • December 13 – Salgirah/Aga Khan’s Birthday (Islam Ismaili)
  • December 21 – Winter Solstice (Indigenous Peoples)
  • December 20 – Yalda (Zoroastrian)
  • December 21 – Yule (Wiccan)
  • December 25 – Christmas Day (Christian)
  • December 25 – January 2 Hanukkah (Judaism)*
  • December 26 – Death of Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroastrian)*
  • December 26 to January 1, 2025 – Kwanzaa (Pan-African cultural observance)

* The date of this observance varies each year