Religious Holidays

Washington and Lee University values diverse religious perspectives and beliefs. Our students celebrate and value a variety of religious traditions. We are committed to supporting our students in observing their religious holidays, while also maintaining their commitment to their academic efforts. The catalog states the following university policy:

Any student who is unable, because of his or her religious holiday(s), to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, athletic, or work requirement on a particular day shall be provided an opportunity to satisfy the requirement in a timely manner or shall be excused from the requirement. Specifically,

  • Undergraduate students should reach out to their faculty member, adviser, supervisor, or coach, within the first two weeks of class in fall or winter term, two days in spring term, and again prior to the religious holiday to discuss how best to make up the missed requirement.
  • Law students should reach out to their faculty member within the first two weeks of class in the relevant semester and again prior to the religious holiday to discuss how best to make up the missed requirement.

No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student who makes use of this provision of university policy.

The faculty (including coaches) receive annual reminders of this policy and are encouraged to work carefully with students in anticipating and resolving conflicts to their mutual satisfaction.

As stipulated in the Faculty Handbook, apart from absences for observance of religious holidays, faculty may set their own attendance policies and have discretion to designate absences for other reasons as "excused" or "unexcused" based upon their professional judgement." (Revised policy approved by the faculty January 7, 2019)

A representative list of holy days for the 2021-22 academic year from several major traditions follows. These are only representative holidays and this list is not exhaustive. For a more complete listing, please visit the Interfaith Calendar.

Hajj Day Islam July 17, 2021
Rosh Hashanah Jewish September 7 - September 8, 2021
Yom Kippur Jewish September 16, 2021
Simchat Torah Jewish September 29, 2021
Dasara Hindu October 15, 2021
Diwali Hindu November 4, 2021
Birth of the Báb Baha'i November 6, 2021
Hanukkah Jewish November 29 - December 6, 2021
Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) Buddhist December 8, 2021
Feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary Christian December 8, 2021
Christmas Christian December 25, 2021
Solemnity of Mary Christian January 1, 2022
Feast of the Epiphany (Orthodox) Christian January 6, 2022
Mahayana New Year Buddhist January 18, 2022
Nirvana Day Buddhist February 15, 2022
Magha Puja Day

February 16, 2022
April 2 - May 1, 2022

Holy Week (Orthodox) Christian April 10 - April 16, 2022
Good Friday Christian April 15, 2022
Passover Jewish April 16 - April 23, 2022
Therevada New Year Buddhist April 16, 2022
Easter Christian April 17, 2022
Festival of Ridvan Baha'i April 19, 2022
Easter (Orthodox) Christian April 24, 2022
Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
Eid al-Fitr
April 28, 2022
May 13 - 14, 2022
Buddha Day (Visakha Puja) Buddhist May 8, 2022
Declaration of the Bab Baha'i May 24, 2022
Ascension Day (Orthodox) Christian May 26, 2022
Ascension of Bahá-u'lláh Baha'i May 29, 2022
Shavuot Jewish June 4, 2022
Eid-a-Adha Islam July 19, 2022