Equality dates 2018 - 19

We present here a list of equality and diversity dates, including significant religious festivals. The purpose of including these is to give departments and individuals advance notice of the festivals for which staff might reasonably request leave. See www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/during/leave/holiday for further advice.

The University of Oxford is a diverse community, with people from many religious and cultural backgrounds.  While this calendar is intended as a starting point, we  recognise that there may be other dates that are significant to individuals.  We encourage you to make any requests for annual leave in plenty of time.

If we have missed an important date or got something wrong please let us know: equality@admin.ox.ac.uk

July  
10 Martyrdom of the Báb Bahá'ís mark the anniversary of the execution in 1850 of the Báb, the herald of the Bahá’í faith.
28 Dharma Day Buddhists from the Theravada tradition celebrate the teachings of the Buddha. 
August  
1 Lughnasadh or Lammas A Harvest Festival when Pagans celebrate the gifts of Nature. 
15 Feast of the Assumption Christians commemorate the death of Mary, and her bodily assumption into Heaven.
22 Eid ul Adha A major muslim festival commemorating Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail.
26 Raksha Bandhan A Hindu festival.
September
2 Janmashtami Birthday of Krishna. Hindus may fast till midnight, the time of Krishna’s birth.
6 - 13 Paryushan For Jains these are eight days of purification, study, prayer, meditation and fasting, and ending with a period of confession and forgiveness.
10 Rosh Hashannah Marks the beginning of ten days of repentance and self examination for the Jewish faith.
12 Muharram/Islamic New Year  
12 Ganesh Chaturthi A Hindu festival in honour of Ganesh.
13 Samvatsari The holiest day of the Jain calendar. Many Jains observe a complete fast on this day.
19 Yom Kippur  The final day of the ten days of repentance, and is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar.
23 Autumn Equinox For many Pagans, this rite honours old age and the approach of Winter. 
23 Bi Visibility Day www.bivisibilityday.com
24 Sukkoth A Jewish festival also called the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of the Ingathering.
October
October Black History Month Black History Month at Oxford University
 1 -7 Dyslexia Awarenesss Week  
 2 Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah  A Jewish holiday marking the day after the end of Sukkot and is an extra day of celebration.
9 - 19 Navaratri  A nine day Hindu fesitval.
31 Samhain  Marks the Celtic New Year and the beginning of what Pagans call the Wheel of the Year. 
November
1 All Saints' Day On All Saints' Day Christians remember all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history.
2 All Souls' Day All Souls' Day is a day when Christians remember and pray for the dead, especially family members.  
7 Diwali  The Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
9 Birth of the Báb Bahá'ís celebrate the birth in 1819 of the Báb, the herald or forerunner of their faith.  
10 Birth of Baha'u'llah  On this day Bahá'ís celebrate the anniversary of the birth in 1817 of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of their faith. Bahá'u'lláh means 'Glory of God'.
12 - 16 Anti Bullying Week  
20 Transgender Day of Remembrance www.glaad.org/tdor 
23 Birthday of Guru Nanak Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh faith and the first of its 10 ten Gurus. He was born in the Punjab in 1469.
December
December Disability History Month ukdhm.org
2 Advent Sunday  A four week period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ.
3  Hannukah (Chanukah) Hanukkah is a Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights 
8 Bodhi day On Bodhi day Buddhists from the Mahayana tradition celebrate the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment.
21 Winter solstice Yule marks the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year - when Pagans celebrate the rebirth of the sun.
25 Christmas day Christmas Day is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, whom they believe to be the son of God
26 Zarathosht Diso / Death of Zoroaster On this day Zoroastrians remember the death of their prophet, Zoroaster. It's a solemn occasion devoted to prayer and remembering his life.
26 - 1 Kwanzaa (26 December - 1 January) A secular festival observed by many African Americans as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values.