Guidance on Religious Holidays

Denver Public Schools is committed to upholding an inclusive culture where students and team members can show up as their authentic and best selves. We depend on our Shared Core Values to help us build upon this culture and hold us accountable for doing so.

As expressed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, everyone in the United States has the right to practice their own religion, or no religion at all. As a public school district, we hold a shared commitment of respect for individual religious beliefs and cultural practices expressed in the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty. This means that we will neither promote nor inhibit religious belief or non-belief.

We encourage all leaders and team members who are scheduling activities and meetings to ensure that they are familiar with the nature and needs of the religious groups in their school and in our community. The list below has been created to support you in planning your calendar, activities, and meetings.

This list is limited to religious holidays that may affect a student’s, team member’s, or community member’s ability to participate in school or district activities and is not intended to be an inclusive list of all religious and cultural observances. We have noted when an observance has been designated a non-work day by the community that celebrates it. Our employees can request religious accommodations through the process outlined in the Employment Practices Manual. Students can request religious accommodations through their school leader.  

If you have questions or would like to request an addition to this list, please email DPS Equity.

PLEASE NOTE: Symbols have been added to some observances for further context:

  • #  These holidays have been designated non-work days by the religions that celebrate them.

  • ** 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.

  • Jewish and Islamic holy days begin and end at sundown on the first and last days listed.

  • Every Friday from sundown until Saturday at sundown is the Jewish Sabbath.

Holiday/Observance

Religion/Faith

2023-24 SY Date(s)

Eid al-Adha  **

Festival of Sacrifice. The day of Arafat marks the end of Hajj.

 Islam 

June 28-29, 2023

Ashura
There is an optional fast this day. The Shi’a observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Husayn, martyred on this day in 683/684 CE after the battle of Karbala. The Sunni observance is related to numerous Biblical and Qur’anic events.

Islam

July 19, 2023

10th of Muharram**

The date of the Emigration of Muhammad and his followers to Medina in 622 CE Islamic New Year.

 Islam 

Aug. 9, 2022

Krishna Janmashtami 

Commemoration of the birth of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of god Vishnu.

Hindu

Sept. 6-7, 2023

Rosh Hashanah #

Jewish New Year. A time of introspection, abstinence, and prayer.

 Jewish 

Sept. 15-17, 2023

Fast of Gedaliah

The Fast of Gedaliah is a fast day to commemorate the assassination of Gedaliah, the official charged with overseeing the Jewish population in Judah.

 Jewish 

Sept. 18, 2023

Mabon/Autumn Equinox**

Mabon is the arrival of autumn and with it the reaping of the harvest. It celebrates the abundance, the fruit of the labor put in throughout the year and signals preparations for the winter soon to come.

Pagan-Wiccan

Sept. 23, 2023

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) # 

The most solemn and holy day of the year in which Jews spend a day in fasting and prayer.

Jewish

Sept. 24-25, 2023

Mawlid-al-Nabi / Birth of the Prophet Muhammad** 

Commemoration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, about 570 CE. Not universally observed.

Islam 

Sept. 28, 2023

Sukkot # 

Also known as the Feast of Tabernacles – celebrates the harvest and the protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents.

Jewish 

Oct. 9-11, 2023

Bandi Chhor Divas

Observed as a “Day of Liberation” commemorating the release from prison of Guru Hargobind circa 1612.

Sikh

Oct. 12, 2023

Birthday of the Bab # 

Baha’i observance of the anniversary of the birth in 1819 of Siyyid, “the Bab,” the prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, in Shiraz, Persia.

Bahá’í 

Oct. 16, 2023

Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah # 

Completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.

Jewish 

Oct. 16-18, 2023

Birthday of Bahá’u’lláh # 

Anniversary of the birth in 1817 of Baha`u`llah, prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith, in Nur, Persia.

Bahá’í 

Oct. 17, 2023

Samhain**

Samhain is one of the most important festivals of the year. It is considered a very powerful time and is great to ask for guidance, help, clearing of negativity and starting of the new year in a positive light.

Pagan-Wiccan

Oct. 31–Nov. 1, 2023

Diwali** 

Festival of lights symbolizing the human urges to move toward the light.

Hindu

Nov. 12, 2023

Birth of Guru Nanak 

Celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, circa 1469, observed on the full moon day of November.

Sikh

Nov. 27, 2023

Ascension of Abdul Baha 

The Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Baha´ commemorates the death on Nov. 28, 1921—and, retrospectively, the life—of ‘Abdu’l-Baha´

Baha’i 

Nov. 28, 2023

Hanukkah (Chanukah)

A Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights.

Jewish

Dec. 7-15, 2023

Yule / Winter Equinox

Yule is held during the winter equinox when days become shorter. It is the time in which last preparations are made for the coming cold months. It is also a time to remind oneself of the warmth and life-giving source of the Sun or fire.

Pagan-Wiccan

Dec. 21, 2023

Christmas #

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts and family parties (per Gregorian Calendar).

Christian 

Dec. 25, 2023

Kwanzaa

The weeklong celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture.

Interfaith/African-American 

Dec. 26, 2023 – Jan 1, 2024

Feast of the Epiphany

Celebrates the revelation of God incarnates as Jesus Christ.

Christian 

Jan. 6, 2024

 East Orthodox Christmas

Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Observed by prayers, exchanging of gifts, and family parties (per Julian Calendar).

Orthodox Christian 

Jan. 7, 2024

Imbolc / The Promise of Spring

A joyous occasion, it symbolized the promise of the return of spring. This is a time in which both crops and animals are blessed to ensure an abundant year, that all would be healthy and new life would spring forth soon.

Pagan-Wiccan

Feb. 1, 2024

Lunar New Year & Tet 

Begins a fifteen-day festival for Chinese people of all religions. Family reunions with thanksgiving and remembrance of departed relatives take place. Traditionally a religious ceremony honors Heaven and Earth.

Confucianism/

Taoism/

Buddhism 

Feb. 10, 2024

Ash Wednesday / Lent

Lent begins in Western Christianity.

Christian

Feb. 14, 2024

Ramadan

The holiest period of the Islamic Year commemorating the Prophet Muhammad’s reception of the divine revelation the Qur`an. A month of introspection, prayer, and devoted fasting from dawn to sunset. Intentional consumption of drink, food, or any injection which has nutritional value is forbidden during fasting hours.

Islam

Mar 10– Apr. 8, 2024

East Orthodox Beginning of Lent

First day of the forty days of the Great Lent period, beginning on Clean Monday followed by distinct periods of fasting, Lazarus Saturday, and Palm Sunday, culminating in Holy Week.

Orthodox Christian 

Mar. 18, 2024

Ostara / Spring Equinox

Celebrating the arrival of spring and new life.

Pagan-Wiccan

March 20, 2024

Nowruz #

Celebrating the first day of the new year, this is one of the nine Bahá’í holy days on which work is to be suspended. It is generally observed with a meeting for prayer and celebration.

Bahá’í / Zoroastrianism

Mar. 21-22, 2024

Fast of Esther (Purim) 

Commemorating the three-day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim.

Jewish

Mar. 23-24, 2024

Hola Mohalla

Begins a three-day Sikh festival that takes place on the first of the lunar month of Chet.

Sikh 

Mar. 25-27, 2024

Good Friday 

Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.

Christian 

Mar. 29, 2024

Easter

The holiest of Christian Sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion.

Christian 

Mar. 31, 2024

Laylat Al-Qadr**

This is the Night of Destiny or Night of Power. It marks the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad.

Islam

Apr. 6, 2024

Eid al-Fitr  (date can vary by a day) 

Marks the end of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to God.

Islam 

Apr. 10, 2024

Baisakhi (Vaisakhi) 

Birth of Khalsa brotherhood, the Sikh New Year festival commemorating the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith.

Sikh

Apr. 13, 2024

Fast of Bechorot

Commemorates the miracle which spared the firstborn Jewish sons from the plague.

Jewish 

Apr. 22, 2024

Ridvan #

Commemorate the twelve days when Baha`u`llah, the prophet-founder, resided in a garden called Ridvan (Paradise) and publicly proclaimed His mission as God’s messenger for this age. The first, ninth, and twelfth days are celebrated as holy days when Baha’i I’s suspend work.

Bahá’í 

Apr. 20-May 2, 2024

Passover (Pesach) #

Celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom.

Jewish 

Apr. 22-Apr. 30, 2024

9th Day of Ridvan #

Symbolizes the reunification and strength of the bond of family and by extension the unity of the entire human family.

Bahá’í 

Apr. 29, 2024

Beltane / Festival of Fire, Mayday

Beltane is the halfway point between Spring and Summer. It is a time to give gratitude and thanks to the fertility of spring, festivities start on the eve of May 1st.

Pagan-Wiccan

May 1, 2024

12th Day of Ridvan #

Commemorates the eve of Baha’u’llah’s departure from Baghdad.

Bahá’í 

May 2, 2024

Eastern Orthodox Good Friday

Christian remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus and related events.

Orthodox Christian 

May 3, 2024

Eastern Orthodox Easter

The holiest of Christian Sacred days. The day commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his death by crucifixion.

Orthodox Christian 

May 5, 2024

Ascension Day

The fortieth day of Easter commemorating Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.

Christian 

May 9, 2024

Pentecost 

Christian observation of the day when the God the Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the forms of tongues of fire and rushing wind. It is a traditional day for baptism and confirmation of new Christians.

Christianity

(RC, P, O)

May 19, 2024

Vesak (Visakha Puja) – Buddha Day # **

Marking of the birth, enlightenment, and death (attainment of Nirvana) of Lord Buddha.

Buddhism 

May 23, 2024

Declaration of the Báb** 

Commemoration of May 23, 1844, when the Bab, the prophet-herald of the Baha’i Faith, announced he was the herald of a new messenger of God.

Bahá’í 

May 23, 2024

Ascension of Baha’u’lláh** 

Observance of the anniversary of the death in exile of Baha`u`llah, the prophet-founder of the Baha’i Faith.

Bahá’í 

May 29, 2024

Shavuot #

One of the three pilgrimage holidays commemorating the giving of the Torah (5 Books of Moses).

Jewish   

June 11-13, 2024

Litha / Summer Solstice

Litha is a celebration of the longest day of the year.

Pagan-Wiccan

June 20, 2024

Lughnasadh / First Harvest

The midway point between summer and autumn, it is the first harvest of grains and fruits. It celebrates and gives gratitude to the new harvest of breads and fresh fruits.

Pagan-Wiccan

 August 1, 2024

Additional Resources