Dear Stanford community,

As spring nears, we anticipate many good things: warmer weather, a sense of rebirth and renewal, and, for many of our faith communities on campus, some of the most holy days of the year. Many of these observances are well known, even among those who don’t celebrate them, others less so, but all are important to someone in our diverse campus community.

I’m writing to call attention to these dates, as well as related guidance about the ways that our classmates, co-workers, and friends observe them. My hope is that these details will help us be mindful of the rituals and practices underway among us. Some will be fasting or following other dietary restrictions, for instance, and others will be taking a day or just an hour or two away from work for prayers or services on certain days.

Holy days observed by the Stanford Associated Religions are listed on this Office for Religious & Spiritual Life calendar. Click here for a downloadable calendar with a comprehensive list of observances.

Among these are holy days coming soon for our Islamic, Christian, and Jewish colleagues.

Ramadan begins at sunset on March 22 and continues through sunset on April 21. Eid will be celebrated April 21. Daily, communal iftars will begin each day at sunset, and Ramadan-specific taraweeh prayers will follow.

For Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians, Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on April 2 and concludes with Easter Monday on April 10. For Orthodox Christians, Palm Sunday is observed on April 9 and Easter Day is April 16.

And our Jewish community will observe Passover beginning the evening of April 5 and ending the night of April 13.

This spring will also mark celebrations in Zoroastrianism and Baha’i traditions including Naw Ruz, as well as celebrations in Hindu, Sikh, and Jain traditions including Ramanavami, Vaisakhi, and Mahavir Jayanti.

These resources can help instructors, managers, and other colleagues as they plan classroom and work schedules. Similarly, those seeking religious accommodations should advise their professors and managers about upcoming observances. Anyone seeking guidance on observances should feel free to call on our ORSL staff and resources.

Whether or not you’ll be among those celebrating, I hope the coming weeks bring joy and balance amid the often-hectic nature of campus life at Stanford.

Tiffany Steinwert
Dean for Religious and Spiritual Life