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Religious and Spiritual Observances Calendar: Summer (June - August)

This guide is intended as an educational resource by raising awareness of the diverse religious and spiritual observances celebrated by members of the University of South Dakota community that may impact one's school or work responsibilities.

Holidays and Recommended Accommodations

                                                                                                                                                                             Date(s) Observed

JUNE

 

Ramadan (Islamic)

Ramadan is an occasion to focus on faith through fasting and prayer, and is one of the most important Muslim holidays. Ramadan is notable because the Qur’an was first revealed during this month, and Muslims see the Qur’an as the ultimate form of guidance for mankind. The night that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad is called Lailat ul Oadr, and standing in prayer this one night is thought to eclipse months of worship.

General Practices: Fasting is required during the entire month of Ramadan. Muslims refrain from food and beverages during the daylight hours, and smoking and sexual relations are forbidden. Worshipers break the fasting each night with prayer, reading of the Qu’ran, and a meal called the iftar. In addition, many Muslims also attend night prayers at Mosques. Muslims also believe that their good actions bring a greater reward during this month than any other time of the year, so almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan.

Date Details: Dates are determined by the lunar calendar. Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice.  The observed date marks the beginning of a 30 day observation.

Recommended Accommodations: If possible, avoid scheduling major academic deadlines during this time. Be sensitive to the fact that students and employees celebrating Ramadan will be fasting during the day (continuously for 30 days) and will likely have less stamina as a result. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

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May 5-June 4, 2019

April 23-May 23, 2020

 

Eid al-Fitr (Islamic)
Holiday with significant work restriction


Eid al-Fitr means "break the fast", and is the last day of Ramadan, marking the end of a month of fasting.

General Practices: Muslims often pray, exchange gifts, give money to children, feast, and celebrate with friends and family.

Date Details: Dates are determined by the lunar calendar. Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice. Eid al Fitr is a three day celebration and begins at sundown on the preceding day.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, or activities on this date. Employees will likely ask to take a vacation day on this day, and that request should be granted if at all possible.  If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

         

June 3-4, 2019

May 23-24, 2020

Litha / Midsomer / Alban Hefin / Summer Solstice / (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

A celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. Celebration of the the Goddess manifesting as Mother Earth and the God as the Sun King. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest's fruits. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Lighting to bonfires and watching the sun rise

June 24, 2019

June 24, 2020

JULY

 

 

 

Tisha B’Av (Jewish)

Commemorates a series of Jewish tragedies including the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem.

General practices: Fasting and mourning.

Date details: Begins at sundown on first day, fast deferred because of the Sabbath.

Recommended accommodations: Plan limited activities after a fast.

Aug. 10-11, 2019

July 29-30, 2020

AUGUST

 

Lammas / Lughnasadh (Pagan, Wiccan, Druid)

A celebration of the beginning of the harvest. One of the eight major annual sabbats or festivals.

General Practices: Making and consuming dishes with the first fruits of the harvest.

Aug. 1, 2019

Aug. 1, 2020

Raksha Bandhan (Hindu)

The Rakhi festivity falls in the holy month of Shravan; The origin and history of Rakhi can be dated back to the mythological Pouranik times.

General Practices: A day to acknowledge siblings and their relationships.

Aug. 15, 2019

Aug. 3, 2020

Points to Remember

This guide is intended as an educational resource by including dates and practices of the diverse religious and spiritual observations celebrated by members of the University of South Dakota community that may impact one's school or work responsibilities. Possible academic and food accommodations are include for informational purposes, as well. We hope that the information will be valuable to those planning classroom activities and other academic co-curricular events. 

Points to Remember

  • Dates are assembled from several calendars and organized by semester: summer, fall, spring. Lunar calendars can vary based on region and practice.
  • Kosher restrictions apply: refers to the dietary guidelines of Jewish law which apply daily throughout the year. Restrictions include: pork, shellfish (fish is allowed) and mixing meat with dairy.
  • Halal dietary restrictions apply: refers to the foods prohibited according to Islamic dietary law throughout the year. Restrictions include alcohol and pork.

Native American Ceremonies

The following describes some of the indigenous religious ceremonies the Native Americans in South Dakota may be involved with.

Sweat Lodge (Inipi):  Can be held at any time of year for individual's prayers and purification. May last several hours.

Vision Quest (Hanbleceya): Typically held in June or July as part of preparation for the Sun Dance but could be held other times for individual's prayers. Typically lasts 2-4 days.

Sun Dance (Wiwan Wacipi): Traditionally held around the summer solstice, typically held in July or early August. The more public portion of the ceremony begins with the Tree Day on which the Sun Dance tree is raised, followed by four days of dancing. The dancers also have purification days immediately before and after the four days of dancing.

 

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