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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



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, 2021



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.

July 17-18, 2021

Eid al-Adha - *begins at sundown (Islamic)
Holiday with significant work restriction

Eid al-Adha is a major festival that celebrates the willingness to make sacrifices in the name of one’s faith. According to legend, the prophet Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice his son in God’s name. When Ibrahim was prepared to kill his son, God stepped in and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead. This holiday celebrates Ibrahim’s total faith in God, and Muslims view this holiday as an important annual reminder.

General Practices: Prayers, gift giving, prayers, and sometimes slaughtering of sheep, with a portion of the meat gifted to the poor.

Date details: Lunar calendars can vay based on region and practice. Begins at sundown on the preceding day.

Recommended Accommodations: Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events, and activities on the first day. If planning an evening event, provide food accommodations if requested (Islamic dietary restrictions apply).

July 19-20, 2021



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, 2021

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. 21, 2021

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Roman Catholic)

Also known as the Assumption, celebrates the day when the Holy Virgin Mary ended her earthly life and was taken to heaven together with her soul and body.

Aug. 15, 2021

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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