Equality dates 2016 - 17

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

We have used the BBC website as a resource for the religious holidays.

July  
9 Dharma Day Buddhists from the Theravada tradition celebrate the teachings of the Buddha.
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.
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.
15 Janmashtami Hindus celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna
18-25 Paryushan The most important Jain festival of the year which includes fasting, meditating, seeking forgiveness and celebration.
25 Ganesh Charurthi Hindu's celebrate the birth of Ganesh, god of wisdom and prosperity. 
September
1 Guru Granth Sahib The Sikhs’ fifth Guru, Arjan Dev, installed the volume of scripture, the Adi Granth, on this date.
Eid-al-Adha  The day of sacrifice in Islam
21-29 Navaratri A nine day Hindu fesitval.
21-22 Rosh Hashannah Marks the beginning of ten days of repentance and self examination for the Jewish faith.
22 Autumn Equinox For many Pagans, this rite honours old age and the approach of Winter. 
23 Bi Visibility Day www.bivisibilityday.com
30 Yom Kippur The final day of the ten days of repentance, and is the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar.
October
October Black History Month Black History Month at Oxford University
1 Ashura Muslims remember the martyrdom of Hussain ibn Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
4 - 11 Sukkot Jews remember the Israelites' 40 years of exile in the desert 
3 - 9 Dyslexia Awarenesss Week www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/fundraising/dyslexia-awareness-week 
11 - 13 Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah  A Jewish holiday marking the day after the end of Sukkot and is an extra day of celebration.
19 Diwali  The Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
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.  
 4 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.
 
13 Birth of the Báb Bahá'ís celebrate the birth in 1819 of the Báb, the herald or forerunner of their faith.  
14 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'.
13 - 17  Anti Bullying Week www.antibullyingweek.co.uk 
20 Transgender Day of Remembrance www.glaad.org/tdor 
30 St Andrews day (Patron Saint of Scotland) www.scotland.org/celebrate-scotland/st-andrews-day
December
December Disability History Month ukdhm.org
3 Advent Sunday  A four week period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ.
8 Bodhi day On Bodhi day Buddhists from the Mahayana tradition celebrate the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment.
12 -19 Hannukah (Chanukah) Hanukkah is a Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights. 
22 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.