Welcome to the David Victor Vector Blog

Welcome to the David Victor Vector blog. This is blog that covers religious observances around the world international affairs and global business. This blog describes religious holidays for most major religions as well as raising issues dealing with globalization, international business ethics, cross-cultural business communication and political events affecting business in an integrated world economy. I look forward your discussion and commentary on these articles and subjects. Enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fall 2016 Religious Holidays

For several years now, I have posted as a reference overviews for many of the religious observances for Bahai'ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, neo-Paganism, Sikhism and Wicca. This is intended to allow those teaching or otherwise following a semester academic calendar to  accommodate students, faculty and staff who wish to observe them.

As Fall Semester starts again, we are now coming upon the start of the cycle of holidays once more. For many of these holidays (those from religions that follow calendars that differ from the Gregorian calendar), the dates in the secular year will differ but the main content of the posts should not. 

To that end, I would like to give the dates for the holidays in the next few months paralleling the Fall semester in most US universities (I am, after all, a professor in the United States).

I have noted only holidays to which I have already written a post. These are those holidays that I would argue are the most important holidays within their religion. Admittedly, there are others which may be of strong importance to those who observe them. Thus, I have not included, for example,  the Christian holiday of Advent Sunday on December 1. This does not, however, mean that such holidays are unimportant to those who wish to observe them, which should be kept in mind for religious accommodation purposes.

Similarly, I have left out some holidays that are regionally of importance within a religion but not of such significance beyond the regional context..  For example, I have left out the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12) which is primarily observed among Mexican Catholics. Likewise excluded is Bathukamma  (this year on October 1) which is primarily observed among Hindus from Telangana state in India.

Note also that observance varies according to practice. For example, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews may observe a holiday for one day that Orthodox and Conservative Jews observe for two days. Some streams of Hinduism may observe Diwali for five full days, while others may do so for one, two or three days. While all Muslims recognize Ashurah as a holiday, it holds much greater significance in Shi'a tradition than in most other branches of Islam. Because of this, two people of the same faith may observe the same holiday for different lengths. These are explained for each holiday in the connected blog post. The main point here, though, is that we should recognize such differences in practice as legitimate.


The list below gives the date for 2016, the name of the holiday, the main religion observing the holiday and the previous David Victor Vector post on that holiday.While the dates on the links may be from an earlier year, all of these are regularly updated, and all are corrected for the date when it changes.

Monday, September 12 sunset through Tuesday, September 13 sunset (depending on the sighting of the moon)
Eid al-Adha/Festival of the Sacrifice

Thursday, September 22
Autumnal Equinox/Mabon

Sunday, October 2 sunset through either sunset Monday, October 3 (for most Reform and Reconstructionist Jews) or sunset Tuesday, October 4 (for Conservative and Orthodox Jews)
Rosh HaShanah
Tuesday, October 11 sunset through Wednesday, October 12 sunset
Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement

Sunday, October 16 sunset through Sunday, October 23 sunset
Note: The first two days are major observance days for most Conservative and Orthodox Jews)
           Sukkot/Festival of Booths/Festival of Tabernacles 

Friday, October 20
Birth of the Bab
Sunday, October 23 sunset through Monday, October 24 sunset
Shemini Atzeret

Monday, October 24 sunset through Tuesday, October 25 sunset
Simchat Torah

Monday October 10 sunset through Tuesday, October 11 sunset (depending on the sighting of the moon) or for some traditions in North America October 11 at sunset through October 12
             Islam, especially Shi’a

Sunday, October 30 - Thursday, November 3
Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism

October 31 sunset through November 1 
Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Neo-Druidism
  November 1
  All Saints Day

November 1
Reformation Day
Lutheranism, some Protestant sects

November 2
All Souls Day/Día de los Muertos
Roman Catholicism

Saturday, November 12
Birthday of Bahá'u'lláh

Thursday, December 8  
Bodhi Day

Wednesday, December 21
Yule/Winter Solstice
Wicca, Neo-Paganism, Neo-Druidism

Saturday, December 24 sunset through Sunday, January 1 sunset


Western Christian faiths (Roman Catholicism, Protestantism)
Sunday, December 25
Eastern Orthodox/ Ethiopian Tewahedo/Coptic Christian faiths
Saturday, January 7


Before I go on, I should note that all holidays in Islam begin with the actual sighting of the moon. Therefore, the dates given for Eid al-Adha and Ashura are the likely dates for the holiday depending on the sighting conditions. Some debate exists regarding where the moon sighting should occur (e.g., locally or in Mecca). This may also cause observance to fall on a day before or after that indicated in this list. The date given here does not intend to suggest that one or the other interpretation is correct; this date is merely intended to be information for the date most widely observed in North America.

In all likelihood, I have overlooked a holiday or observance. Please feel free to share this with me.

While the links to many of the holidays above were posted in earlier years, they are regularly updated as the holiday approaches for this year. The dates in this post are (to the best of my knowledge) correct for 2016.

Finally, I would like to ask you to spread the word about this blog. If you are not formally a follower, please do add your name to the list through your Google, Twitter, AIM, Netlog or Yahoo account.

Thanks so much!

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