Office of Inclusive Excellence

Cultural and Religious Holidays

Below is a list of cultural and religious holidays designed to be an informational resource for the Cal Poly Pomona campus. CPP is a diverse community and many members of the Bronco community observe these holidays.* Thus, this list may be helpful in scheduling appointments, meetings, and events.

If there are cultural or religious holidays that you feel should be added to this list, please contact

*Jewish days begin at previous sundown 

January 2024

  • January 1st 
    • New Year's Day (International) - Marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year and is celebrated with festivities and resolutions to welcome the new year.
  • January 15th 
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (USA) - This day commemorates the life and legacy of the leader of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

February 2024

  • February 10th  
    • Chinese/Lunar New Year (Buddhist – China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam) - Also known as the Spring Festival. This is a major traditional Chinese holiday celebrated to mark the beginning of the lunar new year with various customs and festivities symbolizing renewal, family reunion, and good fortune.  
    • Losar [New Year Tibet] (Tibet, Buddhist) - Significant cultural and religious celebration marked by rituals, feasting, and prayers to ward off negativity and welcome a prosperous new year.  
    • Seollal (Korea) - Also referred to as the Korean Lunar New Year. This traditional holiday is celebrated with family gatherings, ancestral rituals, and special foods to usher in good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.

March 2024 

  • March 11th  
    • Ramadan Begins (Islam) - Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic Year and begins at the sighting of the new moon. It is observed by fasting from dawn until sunset, increased prayer, and spiritual reflection, commemorating the first revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. 
  • March 20th 
    • Nowruz [New Year] (Afghanistan, Iran – Bahá'í, Zoroastrian, Islam Ismaili) - Nowruz means “New Day” and is the traditional celebration of the ancient Persian New Year, marking the beginning of spring and is celebrated with cultural customs, feasting, and symbolic rituals to welcome renewal and prosperity.  
  • March 24th
    • Purim (Jewish) - Also known as the Feast of Lots, Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating the salvation of the Jewish people from a plot to destroy them, celebrated with joyous festivities, reading of the Book of Esther, exchanging gifts, and giving to the needy. 
  • March 31st  
    • Easter (Christian) - Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his crucifixion and the end of the 40-day Lent period with religious services, egg hunts, and festive meals.  
  • March 25th
    • Holi (Sikh, Hindu) - The Festival of Colors, Love, and Spring is celebrated with vibrant colors, bonfires, and festive gatherings to signify the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and the fostering of unity and joy among communities.  
  • March 29th
    • Good Friday (Christian) - This day commemorates the passion and death by crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary, observed with solemn services and reflection of the sacrifice for humanity’s redemption.

April 2024

  • April 10th  
    • Eid-ul-Fitr (Islam) - This marks the end of Ramadan fasting, celebrated with prayers, feasting, and acts of charity to express gratitude and joy for the blessings received during the holy month.  
  • April 13th  
    • Baisakhi (Bangladesh, Sikh, Hindu) - The first day of the solar year, this is an agricultural festival celebrating the harvest season and the founding of the Khalsa Sikh community, marked by prayers, music, dance, and communal feasting.  
    • Songkran/New Year (Thailand) - Also referred to as the Thai New Year, is a traditional Thai festival marked by water fights, temple visits, and family gatherings to symbolize cleansing, renewal, and the welcoming of the new year.  
  • April 21st  
    • Mahavira Jayanti (Jain) - This day commemorates the birth of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara, celebrated with prayers, procession, and acts of charity to honor his teachings of non-violence, truth, and compassion.  
    • Feast of Rivdan [thru May 2nd] (Bahá'í) - ‘Rivdan’ means paradise and the 12-day festival is the holiest time for the Baháís, celebrated with prayers, gatherings, and acts of joy and unity.  
  • April 23rd  
    • Pesach/Passover [April 23rd – April 30th] (Jewish) - This time commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, observed with a ceremonial meal called ‘Seder’, symbolic foods, and retelling of the Exodus story.

May 2024

  • May 23rd  
    • Wesak (Buddhist) - Also known as Vesak or Buddha Day, is commemorated with the birth, enlightenment, and death of Guatama Buddha, celebrated with meditation, chanting, offerings, and acts of generosity. 
  • May 29th  
    • Ascension of Baháʼu'lláh (Bahá'í) - a Bahá'í holy day commemorating the passing of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, marked by prayers, readings, and reflections on his teachings and legacy. 

June 2024

  • June 12th  
    • Shavuot [June 12th – June 13th] (Jewish) - Commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, observed with synagogue services, study sessions, and festive meals featuring dairy foods.  
  • June 17th  
    • Eid-ul-Adha (Islam) - Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is a Muslim holiday celebrating Abraham’s test of obedience to Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son Ismael, celebrated with prayers, animal sacrifices, and sharing of meat with the less fortunate.  
  • June 19th  
    • Juneteenth - Also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and celebrates African American freedom and achievements with community gatherings, music, food, and reflection on the ongoing struggle for racial equality.  

July 2024

  • July 11th  
    • Imamat Day (Islam Ismaili) - A significant Ismaili Muslim holiday commemorating the succession of the Imam, observed with prayers, reflections on the Imam’s teachings, and community gatherings.  
  • July 16th  
    • Ashura (Islam) - A significant religious observance for Muslims, commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, with rituals of mourning, remembrance, and acts of charity.  

August 2024

  • August 18th  
    • Nowruz [Shenshai] (Zoroastrian) - Nowruz is the start of the New Year for Zoroastrians, marking the beginning of spring with rituals, feasting, and prayers for renewal, prosperity, and the triumph of good over evil.  
  • August 26th  
    • Janmashtami (Hindu) - Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, observed with fasting, devotional singing, temple visits, and reenactments of Krishna’s childhood events.  
  • August 31st  
    • Paryushana-Parva [August 31st – September 8th] (Jain) - Celebrated for eight days, Paryushana-Parva is a Jain festival of self-reflection, fasting, and seeking forgiveness, aimed at spiritual purification and renewal through meditation, prayers, and acts of charity.

September 2024

  • September 15th  
    • Eid-Maulad-un-Nabi (Islam) - Anniversary of the birth of Prophet Muhammad, celebrated with prayers, recitations of poetry, and acts of charity.

October 2024

  • October 3rd  
    • Rosh Hashana [October 3rd – 4th] (Jewish) - Jewish New Year, a time of introspection and renewal marked by synagogue services, sounding of the shofar, and festive meals symbolizing hope and repentance.  
  • October 12th  
    • Yom Kippur (Jewish) - The Day of Atonement is the holiest and most solemn of all days in the Jewish Year, observed with fasting, prayer, and repentance, seeking atonement and spiritual renewal.  
    • Dussehra (Nepal, Hindu) - Dussehra means ‘the tenth’ and celebrates the triumph of Lord Ram over the demon Ravan who stole his wife Sita, marking the victory of good over evil, celebrated with religious rituals and theatrical performances. 
  • October 14th  
    • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (USA) - a holiday honoring and recognizing the cultures, histories, and contributions of Indigenous peoples, as well as advocating for the acknowledgment and rectification of historical injustices.  
  • October 17th  
    • Sukkot [October 17th – 23rd] (Jewish) - commemorating the harvest and the temporary dwellings of the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt, observed with the building of sukkahs (temporary shelters) where families eat to remember the time Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, sleeping and eating under the stars.  
  • October 24th  
    • Shemini Atzeret (Jewish) - The conclusion of Sukkot and includes prayers for rain and special readings, serving as a distinct day of spiritual reflection and gratitude.  
  • October 25th  
    • Simchat Torah (Jewish) - Jewish holiday celebrating the completion of the annual cycle of Torah readings, marked by joyous dancing, singing, and the beginning of the new Torah reading cycle.

November 2024

  • November 1st  
    • Diwali (Hindu, Sikh) - Also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu, Sikh, and Jain holiday celebrated with the lighting of lamps, fireworks, feasting, and the exchange of gifts, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of good over evil.  
  • November 15th  
    • Guru Nanak’s Birthday [Bikarami] (Sikh) - Sikh holiday commemorating the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, celebrated with prayers, hymn singing, and community service to honor his teachings of equality, compassion, and devotion to the divine.  
  • November 28th  
    • Thanksgiving Day (USA) - Marked by gatherings with family and friends for a festive meal, expressing gratitude for blessings and commemorating a harvest festival tradition.

December 2024

  • December 13th  
    • Aga Khan’s Birthday (Islam Ismaili) - A significant day for Ismaili Muslims, commemorating the birth of their spiritual leader, the Aga Khan, with prayers, community service, and reflections on his teachings promoting peace, compassion, and philanthropy.  
  • December 25th  
    • Christmas Day (Christian) - Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated with religious services, gift-giving, festive meals, and decorations symbolizing joy, hope, and peace.  
    • Hannukah [December 25th – January 2nd] (Jewish) - Also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts over eight days.  
  • December 26th  
    • Death of Prophet Zarathustra (Zoroastrian) - A solemn occasion observed by Zoroastrians, commemorating the passing of the founder of Zoroastrianism and reflecting on his teachings of ethical principles and devotion to Ahura Mazda.  
    • Kwanza (African) - Kwanzaa means first fruit in Swahili and is a harvest festival, focusing on unity, community, and heritage, marked by gatherings, feasting, and rituals to honor African traditions and values.