Equality dates

The purpose of including these is 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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All month  Disability History Month  
1 Advent Sunday A four week period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the coming of Christ
8 Bodhi day On Bodhi day Buddhists from the Mahayana tradition celebrate the Buddha's attainment of enlightenment
10 Human Rights Day Universal declaration of human rights 'All human beings are born with equal and inalienable rights and fundamental freedoms'
21 Winter Solstice Yule marks the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year - when Pagans celebrate the rebirth of the sun.
23 - 30 Hannukah  Hanukkah is a Jewish festival also known as the festival of lights
25 Christmas Christmas Day is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, whom they believe to be the son of God
26 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 Kwanzaa A secular festival observed by many African Americans as a celebration of their cultural heritage and traditional values


5 Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday Marking the birth of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh


All month LGBT History Month Visit our events page to find out more about our LGBT History Month Lecture
26 Feb Ash Wednesday A Christian observance, representing the first day of Lent and the start of 40 days of fasting and penance
29 Feb – 19 March The Nineteen Day Fast Bahá'í's fast from sunrise to sunset and spend extra time in prayer


1 St David's Day Patron saint of Wales
8 International Women's Day www.internationalwomensday.com
9 Holi Hindus celebrate spring and certain events in Hindu mythology.
10 Purim Commemorating when Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.
17 St Patrick's Day  Patron saint of Ireland
20 Spring Equinox Pagans celebrate the rebirth of spring.
20 Noruz Historically, Noruz is the traditional Iranian new year holiday, and is celebrated by more than one religious group.
22 Isra and Mi'raj   Muslims mark the night that Allah took Mohammad on a journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then to heaven.
22 Mothering Sunday  
2 Rama Navami  A Hindu celebration of the birth of Lord Rama.
5 Palm Sunday Marking the beginning of Holy Week, Christians remember Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem.
8 Hanuman Jayanti Hindu's celebrate the birth of the god Hanuman.
9 Maundy Thursday

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

9 - 16 April Passover (Pesach) One of the most important festivals in the year, Jews remember the Israelites' liberation from slavery in Egypt.
10 Good Friday  Christians remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
12 Easter Sunday Commemorating Jesus Christ's resurrection.
14 Vaisakhi   A celebration of the founding of the Khalsa, the collective body of baptised Sikhs created in 1699.
21 Yom HaShoah Many people in the UK commemorate the murder of about 6 million Jews during the Holocaust
23 St. George's Day  
24 Ramadan Start The beginning of Ramadan carries great significance for Muslims and is the begining of the Ramadan fast. 


1 Beltane A fire festival when Pagan's celebrate the arrival of summer and the fertility of the coming year. 

Vesak / Buddha Day

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

8 - 14

Mental Health Awareness Week   



International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) 



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.


Declaration of the Báb

Bahá'ís celebrate the day in 1844, when the Báb foretold the coming of a new messenger from God.



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.



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




Oxford Pride



Trinity Sunday

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


Corpus Christi

Christians celebrate the Eucharist (Holy Communion).


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.


Ratha Yatra

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




Dharma Day

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


Martyrdom of the Báb

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


Eid ul Adha

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




Lughnasadh or Lammas

A Harvest Festival when Pagans celebrate the gifts of Nature. 


Raksha Bandhan

A Hindu festival.

12 Janmastami A Hindu festival marking the birth of Lord Krishna.


Feast of the Assumption

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


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.


Ganesh Chaturthi

A Hindu festival celebrating the arrival of Ganesha to earth from 'Kailash Parvat' with his mother goddess Parvati/Gauri. 



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.