Equality dates

The purpose of including these are to give departments and individuals advance notice of the festivals for which staff might reasonably request leave. 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.

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January dates
5 Tue Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday Marking the birth of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh
6 Wed Epiphany Christian
7 Thur Orthodox Christmas Day Orthodox Christian
25 Mon Burns night Celebrated in Scotland to commemorate the life of the poet, Robert Burns.
28 Thur Tu B'Shevat (Arbor Day) Jewish holiday


February Dates
  All month LGBT History Month Visit our events page to find out more about our LGBT History Month Lecture
12 Fri Chinese New Year  
17 Wed Ash Wednesday A Christian observance, representing the first day of Lent and the start of 40 days of fasting and penance
26 Fri Purim Commemorating when Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.


March dates
1 Mon St David's Day Patron saint of Wales
1-19 Mon

 The Nineteen Day Fast

Bahá'í's fast from sunrise to sunset and spend extra time in prayer
8 Mon International Women's Day www.internationalwomensday.com
11 Thur

 Maha Shivaratri 

Hindu Holiday
11 Thur Isra and Mi'raj Muslims mark the night that Allah took Mohammad on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.
14 Sun Mothering Sunday  
17 Wed St Patrick's Day  Patron saint of Ireland
20 Sat Spring Equinox Pagans celebrate the rebirth of spring.
20 Sat Noruz Historically, Noruz is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, and is celebrated by more than one religious group.
28 Sun Palm Sunday Marking the beginning of Holy Week, Christians remember Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem.
28 Sun Passover (Pesach) One of the most important festivals in the year, Jews remember the Israelites' liberation from slavery in Egypt.
29 Mon Holi Hindus celebrate spring and certain events in Hindu mythology.


April dates
1 Thur Maundy Thursday

Christians remember the Last Supper which took place on the evening before Jesus's crucifixion.

2 Fri Good Friday  Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
4 Sun Easter Sunday Commemorating Jesus Christ's resurrection.
8 Thur Yom HaShoah Many people in the UK commemorate the murder of about 6 million Jews during the Holocaust
13 Tue Ramadan Start The beginning of Ramadan carries great significance for Muslims and is the beginning of the Ramadan fast. 
14 Wed Vaisakhi   A celebration of the founding of the Khalsa, the collective body of baptised Sikhs created in 1699.
21 Wed Rama Navami  A Hindu celebration of the birth of Lord Rama.
23 Fri St. George's Day  
27 Tue Hanuman Jayanti Hindu's celebrate the birth of the god Hanuman.


May dates
1 Sat Beltane A fire festival when Pagans celebrate the arrival of summer and the fertility of the coming year. 
2 Sun Orthodox Easter  
8 Sat

Vesak / Buddha Day

An important festival for Buddhist's, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.

8 - 14


Mental Health Awareness Week   




Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power)

Muslims in the United Kingdom commemorate the night when Allah revealed the Quran, or Koran, to the prophet Muhammad. It is considered the holiest day of the year.



Ascension Day

Christians celebrate the day when Jesus Christ is said to have ascended bodily into heaven. The Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension on the Sunday after.




Marking the end of the month-long fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan.




A harvest festival when Jews give thanks for the first fruits of the year. It also marks the time when Moses received the Torah on Mount Sinai.

17  Mon International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)  




Christian observance commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus Christ’s disciples



Trinity Sunday

Christians celebrate the belief in three aspects of the one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


June dates



Corpus Christi

Christians celebrate the Eucharist (Holy Communion).



Oxford Pride




Ratha Yatra

A Hindu festival traditionally celebrated in Orissa State on the east coast of India



Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev

Guru Arjan Dev was the fifth of the ten Sikh Gurus and the first Sikh martyr.



Summer Solstice

Pagans celebrate Midsummer or Litha, which means 'standing still of the sun'.



Windrush Day

The UK celebrates Windrush Day to honor the British Caribbean community.


July dates



Martyrdom of the Báb

Bahá'ís mark the anniversary of the execution in 1850 of the Báb, the herald of the Bahá’í faith.

18 Sun Tisha B'Av Jewish Holiday



Eid ul Adha

A major muslim festival commemorating Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail.



Dharma Day

Buddhists from the Theravada tradition celebrate the teachings of the Buddha. 


August dates



Lughnasadh or Lammas

A Harvest Festival when Pagans celebrate the gifts of Nature. 



Muharram/Islamic New Year

marks the beginning of the holiest month of the year and a period of remembrance or mourning that culminates on Ashura nine days later.



Feast of the Assumption

Christians commemorate the death of Mary, and her bodily assumption into Heaven.




This day is observed by all Muslims, for Shia Muslims it’s an extremely solemn day and a commemoration of the martyrdom at Karbala of Hussein.



Raksha Bandhan

A Hindu festival.

30 Mon Janmastami A Hindu festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna.


7 Tues Rosh Hashana The Jewish New Year celebration. In the UK, it lasts for two days.
10 Fri Ganesh Chaturthi A Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Ganesha to earth from 'Kailash Parvat' with his mother goddess Parvati/Gauri. 



Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement, the holiest of the Jewish holidays. Many Jewish people spend the day fasting and praying.



First day of Sukkot

A Jewish holiday also called the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of the Ingathering.



Autumn Equinox (Mabon)

The second of the three Pagan harvest festivals



Hoshana Rabbah

A Jewish holiday celebrating the last day of the Sukkot festival.



Shemini Atzeret

A Jewish holiday held the day after the Hoshana Rabbah. 



Simchat Torah

A Jewish holiday to conclude the annual cycle of Torah reading and begin the next cycle.

October dates
  All month  Black History Month   
Thur Navaratri begins A significant 9 day Hindu festival.
10  Sun World Mental Health Day  
15 Fri Dussehra – Dasara Hindu festival celebrating end of Navaratri 
20 Wed Birth of the Báb Báb was a prophet and forerunner of the Bahá'í revelation.
31 Sun Samhain / Beltane Pagan / Wicca holiday

November dates

1 Mon All Saints day A holy Christian day honouring all the saints in Christian history.
2 Tue All Souls day Christian day of giving and prayers for the dead.
4 Thur Diwali  Festival of Lights (Hindu, Sikh, Jain)



Birth of Baha’u’llah – Baha’i

A Baháʼí holy day marking the religious leader. 

15 Mon

Nativity Fast begins

Orthodox Christian fasting begins and ends 24 December
20 Sat Transgender Day of Remembrance  
24 Wed Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the ninth Guru of Sikhs, was martyred on this day 1675.
26 Fri Day of the Covenant  Baháʼís celebrate the appointment of ʻAbdu'l-Bahá as the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant.
28 Sun Advent Sunday A four-week period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ




A Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights, ends 6 Dec.


December dates
  All month Disability History Month  
8 Wed Feast of the Immaculate Conception A holy day of obligation for Christians, particularly of the Catholic faith.
8 Wed Bodhi day On Bodhi day Buddhists from the Mahayana tradition celebrate the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment
10 Fri Human Rights Day Universal declaration of human rights 'All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms'
22 Wed Winter Solstice Yule marks the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year - when Pagans celebrate the rebirth of the sun.
25 Sat Christmas Christmas Day is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, whom they believe to be the son of God
26 Sun 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 Jan Sun Kwanzaa A secular festival observed by many African Americans as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values