CUNY Religious Holiday Calendar – April 2022
March 31, 2022
From: Dan Lemons, Executive Vice Chancellor & University Provost, and Denise Maybank, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
We are writing an important reminder to encourage you to share the CUNY Policy on Religious Accommodations with your college community. We ask our faculty, staff, and administration members to be mindful of our University’s abiding commitment to accommodating religious observances and making the necessary arrangements for students.
CUNY’s policy on religious accommodation allows for students to request and be granted academic and attendance accommodations on the basis of religious belief. A link to the policy and calendar is posted below:
As a frame of reference for anticipating student requests for religious accommodations, CUNY’s Interfaith Council has developed the following “Religious & Ethnic Holidays Calendar,” which serves as a helpful resource https://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/saem/religions-ethnic-holiday-calendar/. This collaborative effort of faith leaders associated with our University gives us a good base of information for expanding our knowledge of important observances and confirming student requests for accommodations. Please be mindful that some holidays’ observance may impact activity on days immediately before or following the official date. While not necessarily an exhaustive list, the Calendar highlights the following days of religious observance in the months of April.
|Religion/Group||Holiday||Description||Obligations/restrictions affiliated with the holidays||Dates||Traditions or Practices|
|Muslims||Ramadan||The holy month of fasting, introspection, and prayer is celebrated by Muslims.||N/A||4/2 – 5/2||Muslims abstain from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in sexual activity from dawn to sunset. That includes taking medication (even if you swallow a pill dry, without drinking any water).|
|Hindus||Vaisakhi (Baisakhi)||An ancient festival for Hindus that simultaneously celebrates the Solar New Year and spring harvest.||N/A||4/14||Celebrations traditionally include singing and music and reading scriptures out loud, and chanting hymns. Many Sikhs also choose Vaisakhi as the day to be baptized into the Khalsa brotherhood.|
|Jewish||Passover||A 7-day holiday in the Jewish faith that honors the freeing of the enslaved Israelis.||N/A||4/15 – 4/23||Telling the story, discussing the story, drinking four sips of wine, eating matza, partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder plate, and reclining in celebration of freedom. The Seder is the most commonly celebrated Jewish ritual performed by Jews worldwide.|
|Mahavir Jayanti||A Jain holiday celebrating the birth of Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism.||N/A||4/15||A procession takes place with Lord Mahavir’s idol on a chariot, and people recite religious songs on the way. On this day, the Jains around the world celebrate by doing charity, saying prayers and observing fasts. They also visit Jain temples, conduct mass prayers and meditate.|
|The commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion before his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood.||
|The holy day falls on the Thursday before Easter and is part of Holy Week. The Paschal Triduum begins on the evening of Holy Thursday and concludes with the Evening Prayer (Vespers) of Easter.|
|Good Friday is observed on the Friday before Easter Sunday.
On this day, Christians commemorate the passion, or suffering, and death on the cross of Jesus Christ.
|N/A||4/15||Many Christians spend Good Friday fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ.|
|Christians||Easter||The most important day in the Christian faith when they celebrate the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.||N/A||4/17||Many Christians worldwide celebrate Easter with special church services, music, candlelight, flowers and the ringing of church bells. In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side|
|Christians||Feast Of The Divine Mercy||A feast day on the second Sunday of Easter when Christians seek Christ’s forgiveness and grace.||N/A||4/24||Participation in the “prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy” in a church or chapel while “completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin,” or recitation of the Our Father and the Creed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament|
For questions about CUNY’s policy on religious accommodations, or to add additional observances, please contact Zina Richardson, Director of Operations, Student Inclusion Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support, and for your enduring commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at CUNY.
Dan Lemons, Executive Vice Chancellor & University Provost
Denise Maybank, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs