Religious and Cultural Observances

Cal Lutheran Faculty and Staff,

Our students, faculty and staff come from multi-faceted gender, cultural, ethnic, philosophical and religious identities that make this a pluralistic community of learning. We have an ongoing opportunity to enter into the cultural and religious realm of our neighbors and friends learning from them about their deeply held values and practices.

The strategic plan acknowledges that our campus culture must be more inclusive and equitable in order to enhance education for all students. For Cal Lutheran, this means a commitment to diversity of race, class, culture, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, politics, and physical or mental abilities. The first goal of the strategic plan is that the university will continue evolving into a more inclusive campus. This goal builds on the ELCA statement on “A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment” which was recently adopted at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August. Click here to view the statement.

I use this note as a reminder of the importance of your awareness and respect of the traditions and celebrations that your colleagues, students, friends, and neighbors may choose to honor throughout the year.

Please find a list of several, but not all, dates of observances which may be celebrated by members of the Cal Lutheran community during the 2020-2021 academic year below:


2020-2021 Observances

Event Date
International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples August 9
Al-Hijra August 19
International Day for Rememberance of Slave Trade & its Abolition August 23
Women's Equality Day August 26
International Day of Charity September 5
Labor Day September 7
Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15
Mexican Independence Day September 16
Constitution & Citizenship Day September 17
Rosh Hashanah September 19-20
International Day of Peace September 21
Bisexuality Day September 23
Yom Kippur September 28
National Disability Employment Awareness Month October 1-31
International Day of NonViolence October 2
Sukkot October 3-9
National Coming Out Day October 11
Indigenous Peoples' Day October 12
Filipino American Heritage Month October 14
Prophet Muhammad's Birthday October 28
National American Indian Heritage Month November 1-30
Día de los Muertos November 1-2
Veterens Day November 11
Diwali November 14
International Education Week November 16-20
World Fair (Cal Lutheran) November 18
Guru Nanak Jayanti November 30
World Aids Day December 1
International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 10
Kwanzaa December 26 - January 1
Hanukkah December 11-18
Christmas December 25
Christmas January 7
World Religion Day January 17
Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 18
Holocaust Memorial Day January 27
Tu B'Shvat January 28
National Freedom Day February 1
Black History Month February 1 - 28
Lunar New Year February 12 - 26
Ash Wednesday February 17
World Day of Social Justice February 20
Women's History Month March 1- 31
International Women's Day March 8
National Deaf History Month March 13 - April 15
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination March 21
Passover March 28-Apr 4
Holi March 29
Cesar Chavez Day March 31
Transgender Day of Visibility  March 31
Genocide Awareness Month April 1-30
Holy Thursday April 1
Good Friday April 2
Easter April 4
Yom Hashoah April 8
Scandinavian Festival April 10-11
Ramadan April 12-May 11
Vaisakhi April 14
Earth Day April 22
Asian Pacific Heritage Month May 1 - 31
Jewish American Heritage Month May 1 - 31
International Worker's Day May 1
Cinco De Mayo May 5
Laila Al-Qadr  May 8
Eid ul-Fitr May 12
Ascencion Day May 13
World Day for Cultural Diversity May 21
Memorial Day May 31
LGBTQ+ Pride Month June 1 - 30
World Environment Day June 5
Loving Day June 12
Race Unity Day June 13
Juneteenth June 19
World Refugee Day June 20
Eid ul-Adha July 19
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Day July 26


A resource that can assist us in learning about a variety of 2020 observances is available at the Anti-Defamation League’s Calendar of Observances. Observances held within the 2021 calendar year are available here

I want to take this opportunity to invite the Cal Lutheran community to experience and respect the Sabbath Hour on the Thousand Oaks campus, Thursdays from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This is a gift of time when no classes or labs are scheduled so one can pause and reflect. All offices are to be closed during this time so that students, faculty and staff may have the chance to attend University Chapel or utilize this time for mindful reflection. At Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, weekly Eucharist is held on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. 

Additionally, on the Thousand Oaks campus, the Wennes Interfaith Meditation Chapel is open every day all day for mindful reflection. Printed resources from many faith traditions are available as are meditation cushions, prayer rugs, incense, and icons.  One can walk the path of the labyrinth located behind Samuelson Chapel for reflection or prayer. On Thursdays, one can meet at the back gate of the Facilities building at 11:15 a.m. for a hike up to the cross. 

While we are a community that is increasingly varied in its religious expressions, we remain joined together by values that celebrate our very differences. Thank you for your support as we work together to achieve mutual understanding among all people of different worldviews and religions and to inspire all to work together for the common good. 

Melissa Maxwell-Doherty
Vice President, Mission and Identity