If students would like to mark / celebrate any of these faith events, Rev Boyce is very keen to work with them and their family to look into ways of facilitating this. More widely, he is also very keen to offer support and encouragement with regards to any aspect of faith (or none) – please do speak to him or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
A major festival marking the end of Hajj, it remembers the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Most Muslims will abstain from work.
Navaratri / Durga Puja / Dusserah (Hindu)
Navaratri (nine nights) is a festival in which God is adored as Mother.
Al-Hijra / Islamic New Year (Muslim)
The new year, which marks the Prophet Muhammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina where he set up the first Muslim state. Rosh Hashana (Jewish) Jewish New Year, commemorating the creation of the world.
Yom Kippur (Jewish)
The Day of Atonement, when God decides how the next year will be for each person. Those who have repented for their sins will be granted a happy New Year.
A day of fasting marking the day Noah left the ark and Moses was saved by the Egyptians. For some, it is also a day of mourning.
Sukkot celebrates the Jews’ years in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, and is celebrated by building huts.
Shemini Atzeret (Jewish)
Shemini Atzeret is the final day of festivities at the end of Sukkot.
Simchat Torah (Jewish)
Meaning “Rejoicing in the Torah”, this day marks the end of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings.
Diwali (Deepvali) (Hindu)
Diwali, the festival of light, extends over five days and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
A Sikh festival as well as Hindu. Sikhs celebrate the release from prison of Guru Hargobind Singh during this time.
All Saints Day (Christian)
A day to honour all saints and martyrs of the church.
Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur (Sikh)
A day marking the death of Guru Tegh Bahadur, a champion of religious freedom.
Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
A day when some Buddhists celebrate Gautama reaching enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
The Jewish Festival of Lights, celebrated for eight days. It commemorates the Jews’ struggle for religious freedom. During Hanukkah, Jews light one more candle each night.
Christmas Day (Christian)
The day celebrating the birth of Jesus.
Birthday of Guru Gobindh Singh (Sikh)
The tenth and last Guru, who created the order of Khalsa and instituted the Five ‘Ks’.
Epiphany remembers the wise men visiting Jesus.
Makar Sankranti (Hindu)
This winter festival celebrates the Sun-God’s entry into the Northern Hemisphere.
The Buddha’s death, celebrated because he attained total Enlightenment, or Nirvana.
Maha Shivarati (Hindu)
Devotion and thanks are shown to Lord Shiva, who danced his cosmic dance this night. Many Hindus fast.
The season of preparation before Easter, in which Christians often surrender a particular vice – such as chocolate or smoking. The sacrifice represents Jesus’ deprivation in the wilderness.
Commemorates the time when Persian Jews were saved from extermination by a woman called Esther.
Holi is a festival that welcomes the spring, which also celebrates Krishna, and the legend of Holika and Prahalad. Bonfires are lit to celebrate.
The Hindu Spring New Year – a good day to start new ventures. It symbolises renewal.
Rama Navami (Hindu)
The birthday of Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu and the hero of the Ramayana.
Palm Sunday (Christian)
The last Sunday of Lent marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, where the people waved Palm branches at him.
Passover (Pesach) (Jewish)
A festival celebrating the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, led by Moses, and a general celebration of freedom.
The Sikh New Year festival, which also commemorates Sikhism being born as a collective faith in 1699.
Good Friday (Christian)
A day to commemorate the execution of Jesus on the cross.
Easter Sunday (Christian)
Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The most important Christian festival and the one celebrated with most joy.
The night journey and ascent of the Prophet Muhammad, celebrated by the telling of the story of how he was visited by two archangels.
Vaishaka Puja / Wesak (Buddhist)
A celebration of the Buddha’s birthday, celebrated with much colour. In some countries there are special Wesak lanterns made, and caged birds are released.
“The Night of Freedom from Fire”, in which Muslims are graced with divine mercy and blessings.
A month of dusk to dawn fasting, in which the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed.
Marks the time when the Jews received the Torah. Prayers are said, especially at dawn, to thank God for the five books of Moses.
The festival where Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, 50 days after Easter. Regarded as the birthday of the Christian church.
Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev (Sikh)
Guru Ajan compiled the Sikh scriptures for the first time, and on this day was executed.
The Night of Power, when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims spend this time in study and prayer.
Muslims celebrate the end of fasting for Ramadan, with processions through the street and a celebratory daytime meal – their first for a month.
Asalha / Dharma Day (Buddhist)
The beginning of the Buddha’s teaching, celebrated with readings of scriptures.
Tisha B’Av (Jewish)
A fast day commemorating several calamities that have occurred on this same day in the Jewish calendar. Known as “the saddest day in Jewish history”.
Raksha Bandan (Hindu)
“Raksha Bandan” means “a thread for protection”. Sisters tie a thread bracelet around their brothers’ wrists, and receive gifts in return.
Janamashtami / Krishna Jayanti (Hindu)
The birthday of Krishna. Many Hindus forego sleep for the 48 hours, and some fast.